What is the state of cask ale in America? All About Beer publisher Andy Crouch hosts this special episode of the Drink Beer, Think Beer podcast with three experts on the tradition, process, and service of cask ale.


Neil Callaghan is the Beer Director at Brick Store Pub in Decatur, Georgia, one of America’s premier beer venues.  An Advanced Cicerone and Certified BJCP Judge, Neil has over 15 years of national and international experience working with breweries, distributors, importers and retailers to elevate beer education, appreciation and eloquence.

Steve Hamburg is the Director and Lead Assessor of Cask Marque Americas, the official representative of the UK-based Cask Marque (pronounced “Cask Mark”) quality program in the Western Hemisphere, which he has led since 2016. He has over 30 years experience with cask ale cellaring and dispense, beginning with volunteer work in a famed London pub. He has regularly lectured on cask ale for the Siebel Instiute of Technology, professional breweries and state brewers’ guild, and multiple Homebrew Cons. A BJCP judge since 1990, Steve has  judged at hundreds of beer events in North America, Europe, and Japan. He has also been a Master Cicerone examiner since 2015 and is a past President and current Treasurer of the North American Guild of Beer Writers.

Todd DiMatteo started drinking and soon fell in love with craft beer in about 2001 when he moved to Asheville, NC. When he left Asheville to return home to Atlanta in 2005 he met his wife and she introduced him to Brick Store Pub located in Decatur, GA. Todd started working there a few weeks later and really got into beer at that point. 

He worked at Brick Store for over a decade, and toward the end of that time began home brewing. Todd was always big into cooking, brewing was easy an easy transition for him. He signed the lease on our building for Good Word in November of 2016 and opened the following November. It was named one of USA Todays top 10 brewpubs in 2020.

In addition to the brewpub Good Word also hosts two nice beer festivals. One in April called Little Beer focusing on small beers, namely lagers and English beer with brewers attending from around the country and a one from Austria. Another festival is put on in early September focuses on saison, mixed culture and oysters called Les Bon. Les Bon also helps raise money and awareness for Oyster South. Which directly impacts oyster farmers in the southeast. 

Hear the whole conversation on the Drink Beer, Think Beer podcast. Download via Apple PodcastsSpotify, Overcast, or wherever you download shows.