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The Friday beer: Hale's Ales Troll Porter

The Troll Porter
Paul Gibson
The Troll Porter

Hale's Ales from Seattle is one of the oldest craft breweries in the state. Started in 1983, Hale's has been brewing for nearly 29 years. They have been in their current location on the border of the Fremont and Ballard neighborhoods since 1995. That's a good long time in the craft beer scene.

I found this Troll Porter being served "on cask.”

It was smooth and creamy with lovely hints of chocolate and coffee. Cask beer is an ale that undergoes its secondary fermentation in a wooden cask, a firkin, where it matures and conditions. During this process the beer is naturally carbonated, no carbon dioxide or chemical treatments are added. When ready, glasses are filled using gravity or a hand pump. Cask ales offer a fresh tasting beer were different flavors can be enhanced compared to keg beer.

It's becoming quite common for a pub or brewery to host a cask night during the week. And often, these beers may be a special or experimental version of a beer you have had before. For example you might find your favorite IPA with an addition of rambutan or orange peel and vanilla beans.

Have you tried a beer on cask? What have you had and what did you think?

NW Craft Brews” is a new weekly Web feature published Fridays here at Let us know what your favorite beer is right now, either here or on our Facebook page. Cheers!

Guest contributor Paul Gibson originally hails from Carlsbad, New Mexico, but he prefers the Northwest’s cooler temperatures and its vast selection of hoppy delicious beers. As a kid, he first started taking photos with an Instamatic of his friends on their BMX bikes. Now he takes photos of beer, breweries and on occasion street photography, events and concerts—minus the Instamatic. You can find more photos and follow Paul on Twitter at @pdgibson.