What is a minipin - and how long does it last?
The most common questions I'm asked when out on delivery rounds are about our minpins! Simply put, they are the best way of recreating that cask beer experience in your home environment. Although available in different sizes we're just doing the 17 pint version at present - one quarter of a full cask.
Early each week we rack up a number of 9 gallon casks in our cold store, tap and vent them and leave them to fully settle. Then towards the end of the week the cask's contents are carefully decanted into the airtight polythene inner, and thence to the cardboard box outer surround. Until delivery they are stored in the cold room at a constant 10 degrees C.
On delivery day I'll drop them to your door, from where you're advised to get them to a cool place as swiftly as possible. If you like your beer fridge cold you just need to negotiate a space 8" high x 8" wide x 13" deep in there. My preference is that cellar temperature though, so at most times of year a garage or shed is fine. The cooler the spot, the better the beer will keep. It's not essential to keep the beer settled in one place, as most of the sediment will have been left in the cask back at the brewery.
So how long will it last? This is the question I'm asked the most - and always have to resist the temptation to reply "depends how fast you drink it!" We advise 5 - 7 days once opened, and I recently put this to the test with a minipin of Kursaal Gold over a 7 day period. I was actually surprised how well the carbonation held up - still perfect after 5 days, and acceptable after 7. (The pic shows a glass poured on the seventh day). It is the carbonation that goes first though, long before the beer starts to taste stale or wine like.
So, if 17 pints of brewery fresh cask beer appeals to you as a distraction from lockdown, check out what we have for the week (usually posted up Saturday) and I'll be round the following Friday!