MARCH 17-19

Cask-conditioned ales are responsible for British beer’s reputation of being warm and flat, at least compared to your average ballpark Bud, but there’s more to this ale tale. Though increasing in popularity here, “real ale” (as it’s known to British aficionados) is rarely served because of the care and equipment needed to serve the beer correctly, since it matures in casks and spoils easily. Because it doesn’t travel well and should be moved only a few times between brewing and serving, it’s rarely imported. So it’s doubly exotic that Washington’s renowned beer bar, the Brickskeller, will be offering no fewer than eight Scottish and English cask-conditioned ales at its latest beer-tasting. This traditional form of draft ale is less fizzy than its modern cousins because of its natural yeast carbonation, and while it must be served at a higher temperature than the American palate is used to, the practice ensures and preserves the peak flavor of this most delicate of beers. Neo-traditional Scot brewer and crackerjack raconteur Bruce Williams (pictured) will play host to this “virtual pub crawl,” regaling a sure-to-be appreciative audience with stories from some of the legendary pubs that serve these ales. An auction, music, door prizes, and a post-tasting open keg round out the bill at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday at the Brickskeller, 1523 22nd St. NW. $26.95 (proceeds benefit Children’s Hospital). For reservations call (202) 293-1885. (Dan Searing)