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This question already has an answer here:

My friend ordered a Wells Banana Bread Beer and to all three of us the beer tasted flat (carbonation-wise). She brought the beer to the bartender, who replied that that's just how that beer is. Is it true that some beers are meant to be served flat? Why? (What does it do for the taste?)

marked as duplicate by Xander, Anthony, Andrew Cheong Jul 8 '14 at 14:56

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  • Indeed a duplicate. That's what happens when you drink and post. As @JasonMcLaughlin points out, cask conditioned beers do not force carbonation, and the Wells Banana Bread Beer is indeed a "draught seasonal cask beer." – Andrew Cheong Jul 8 '14 at 14:55
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Traditional ale styles of beer were only carbonated by using natural yeast and remaining sugars post fermentation. The ale house would "pull" pints from huge wood tanks, generally located below their taps by using traditional cask systems. CO2 was not available to breweries for most of the worlds brewing history. This led to a ale that was cellar temperature and with little to no carbonation.

Today breweries try to replicate this process by "cask conditioning" carbonating naturally their beers. So, there is no forced carbonation with CO2 and generally they do not refrigerate cask ales either.

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Yes, some beers have more carbonation than others. I've yet to drink one that is 100% flat but some are pretty close. I couldn't tell you exactly what it does for any beer - the brewer simply decided that it was a good fit for this beer.

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