Today we visit another local gem that is sure to soon become firmly seated into a regular haunt. From the minds of James and Julie Petrakis, owners of the near infamous gastropub “The Ravenous Pig”, we give you “Cask & Larder”. We’re talking prime cuisine here folks, and with none of the uppity attitude to boot.
Cask is a re-imagining of the historic “Harper’s Tavern”, down to it’s southern inspired grub with a clever flair, family style whole cookery, and it’s extensive single pour whiskey list. To top it all off, Cask has employed one of our favorite local brewers, Ron Raike, to create a bevy of beverages tailor made for their menu pairings, with year round taps getting seasonal twists, and a few rotating pours to boot. We’ve sampled his creative beers before, from the infamous Ham Hock infused “Hammer Time”, to the Rum & Fruit vibe shift beer “Shifty”, and even nailing staples styles with their “Old Southern Wit”, and “5-Points IPA” (that they can barely keep on tap at 10 keg capacity per brew). Combine that with a number of collaborations with regional big shot craft breweries (and an upcoming beer pairing dinner going toe to toe with Cigar City), it’s not hard to find that the man is nothing short of prodigious. Suffice to say, we’re honored to have him pouring his kind of therapy in our town. We urge you to swing in as soon as possible and soak it in before the taps change once more. Oh, and check the bump below for some photos from our tour through the brew house.
Name: All Jacked Up
Place of Origin / Brewer: Florida, USA / Cask & Larder (Ron Raike)
Beer style / ABV%: Pumpkin Ale / 6.9%
Specialty Prep / Individuality: All Jacked Up is a traditional style pumpkin ale brewed with 150 lbs of Tampa, FL grown Calabaza Pumpkins that are roasted in the kitchen by Cask & Larder’s Sous chef. The Pumpkins are then added to the mash, boil, and secondary fermented, based on the degree of char they received, along with mace, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, and wildflower honey.
Packaging: A lone pumpkin impaled upon the spire of a tap handle. This one if draught only.
Sticky tan lacing and a murky head top off a glowing chestnut-amber liquid that is delivered to the table in traditional pilsner glasses. The suspense is killing me. – Brittney
Poured directly from the tap into a pilsner, this seasonal burns a deep burnt orange glow with ruby highlights and a soft opacity. The single-finger dark crème head just kissed the rim of the glass and dissipated slowly leaving some nice lace in its wake. – Tim
M- 9 / T- 8.5 / B- 8 / R- 8
Allspice, butter-crusty malt, honey, and squashy pumpkin abound. Notes of nutmeg and clove highlight. Rich, harmonious, and clean. Absolutely mouthwatering. – Mike
One of the best parts about this ale is the wonderful aroma. It smells like super sweet pumpkin and cinnamon followed closely by nutmeg. There is also a slight hint at a bit of honey sweetness. This aroma truly makes your mouth water in anticipation of each sip. – Rick
M- 10 / T- 9.5 / B- 8 / R- 9
Mouth feel: 8.5
Each sip reveals it’s frothy medium-full body with a great presence on the tongue. There’s also a nice tang present that imbues a slight sour taste. – Rick
This is the very definition of medium bodied, with a refreshing bite that leads to a creamy and smooth swallow. Gentle and foamy with only a mild amount of carbonation. – Tim
M- 9 / T- 9 / B- 8 / R- 7.5
Tasting notes: 9
Brown sugar and sweet honey with ample nutmeg and roasted pumpkin flesh. There’s earthy mace and wood in the back with cedar qualities, and a bit of vegetal murk from a swish around the mouth. – Mike
My mother makes a pretty epic pumpkin bread that sorta ‘steams’ in the oven, then she wraps and chills it and we eat it cold. It’s lush and velvety and dangerously delicious. This is the liquid equivalent of that. The spices explode on the palate and perfume my senses with a barrage of Autumnal extravagance. The lineup is a who’s who of textbook pumpkin spices followed by an earthy veggie back-end from the Calabaza pumpkins and a gentle sweetness from the wildflower honey. I really can’t imagine a more perfect balance of meaty pumpkin in a sonata of spices. I really want to find a flaw here, but I can’t. This tastes like home. – Tim
I’m really trying not to be a fan girl here but Ron knows how to make a damn good beer. Just the right amount of earthy/squashy pumpkin with a honey sweetness, and just when you think it can’t get any better the finish completely blows you away. – Brittney
This brew has a great sweet pumpkin backbone to it’s body that all the other elements seem to compliment very well. It’s spicy, leaning towards peppery notes, and the wildflower honey really shines on the finish to offset this. – Rick
M- 9.5 / T- 10 / B- 8.5 / R- 7.5
This literally made me stop and say “wow”. After a generously sweetened body, the swallow is enormously clean as it transitions into a bittering wheat textured dryness, and then back into a sweet cinnamon vanish. – Mike
Each sip is refreshing with a nice bitter-clean finish. There’s a peppery bite to it that mingles with the mace spicing, but the wildflower honey really helps balance all of these elements into one cohesive exit that prepares you for the next sip. – Rick
M- 9.5 / T- 8.5 / B- 9 / R- 8
Flavor balance: 9
– Pumpkin to Spice balance: 8.5
Super balanced between the earthy squash flavor and the sweetness of the honey all presented on a foundation of a great combination of earthy spice. – Brittney
We foray into such a complex spicing here, but each nuance really shines in the fray, and our pumpkin never seems to cease. – Mike
M- 9.5 / T- 9 / B- 8 / R- 7
– Sweet / Dry balance: 8.5
I think the finish here, could conceivably put some pumpkin ale drinkers off—if only because they would want to savor the beer for just a little bit longer. However, I think the sweetness from the wildflower honey in the body is wonderful and it carries a few tell-tale floral notes into the crisp and clean finish. In my opinion (which let’s face it, all of this is) this is an exceptionally balanced beer. – Tim
This ale takes you from sweet to dry and back again ending on a subtle sweet note. The use of the honey provides just enough mellow sweetness that it doesn’t take over. – Brittney
M- 8.5 / T- 8.5 / B- 8 / R- 8
– Multiple Drinkability? 9.5
This must be the pinnacle of pumpkin beers, fresh, crisp, bready, yeasty, spicy, balanced, and harmonious beyond belief. I could think of no better ale to carry me throughout the season. Drink it while you can, beg them to make more. It’s damn near perfect in every sense. – Tim
A nice hit of alcohol. A smooth and delicious ale with exceptional balance. I’m impressed. Come and get it before it’s gone. – Mike
M- 9.5 / T- 10 / B- 9 / R- 9
M- 9.33 / T- 9.08 / B- 8.33 / R- 8.00
A brisk trip through the tap fridge with Brew master Ron Raike.
The brew house, where it all goes down. It’s worth noting that you can make special reservations to dine in here.
Said casks; we didn’t get to visit the larder, but the sheer amount of sweet, sweet pork fat on the menu should speak for itself.