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Adnams Broadside: Cask and Bottle - what’s the difference and why?

By Sarah Groves, also posted in News on

This post will help answer why cask Broadside and bottled Broadside are subtly different, and explains how this came about.

The beer in cask is a different recipe to the bottle version but both share the ruby red colour and rich fruitcake aromas. Bottled Broadside is the original version, as it says on the bottle, which we started brewing in 1972. During the early eighties, the bottle market in the UK was in decline but cask beer was seeing a resurgence. Everyone liked the beer and the name and wanted to keep it going in some form but at 6.3% abv it wasn't suitable as a cask beer, so our brewers formulated a new recipe suitable for cask at 4.7%.

The bottle beer market recovered and grew strongly, and at the same time the cask market grew and we have ended up with two successful beers. They do have similar tastes, both malty and fruitcake flavours, but bottled Broadside has them in abundance. Both beers have the same malts and hops, but in differing quantities and proportions. Black and chocolate malt is used to darken the beer, and pale ale malt is used to provide the sugars, alcohol and full, malty flavours. The bottled version just uses much more pale ale malt to make more sugars and alcohol.

The mashing regime is set so that both beers keep a lot of un-fermentable (residual) sugars in the beer. This gives Broadside its fullness, with the bottled version having more sugars / fullness than the cask version. The fermentation temperatures are slightly different too, the bottled version being slightly higher to help the yeast produce more ester flavours and aromas. Both beers use British First Gold hops as the bittering hop, with the bottled beer having some First Gold added as aroma hops towards the end of the boil.
The two Broadsides have the same flavour characteristics, they are full bodied, fruity and sweet, but they differ significantly in abv and the scale of the flavours.

Carbonation will also affect the way we taste beer. The cask version has natural CO2 from fermentation, as do all cask beers, the bottled version has some more CO2 added, which can lighten certain flavours on the palate. Hopefully, this clears up any confusion between the two different versions of one of our most popular, and much-loved beers.

Broadside continues to do well, and long may it do in the future. You can place your order for Broadside here.


Sarah Groves