Yes, believe it or not, that's a spray nozzel called a "fish tail" pumping beer from the lower part of the fermenter and spraying it onto the enormous yeast cake in the square. You see, the yeast they use at The Old Brewery is so flocculant (it really wants to clump together) that the yeast needs to be forced back into suspension. This is done by pumping fermenting beer from the lower part of the fermenter and spraying it onto the yeast cake. "Doesn't this introduce air?" you may ask. The answer is, that it does, but during fermentation this oxygen is used up almost immediately. One byproduct of this aeration is an increased diacetyl production (diacetyl gives beer a butterscotch aroma and flavour). You'll note that Samuel Smith's beers are very high in diacetyl.
Samuel Smith's is one of the few remaining beers that is distributed in wooden casks. Due to the constant maintenance required and additional sanitation difficulties, this extremely expensive process is a testament to the traditionalism practiced by The Old Brewery. In addition to having tasted Museum Ale and Old Brewery Bitter ("OBB" they call it) at the source, I've also had them at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, just off Fleet Street in London (hundreds of miles from Tadcaster), and it showed virtually no signs of deterioration. It is important to not forget that not only is credit due the brewers and coopers, but also the cellarmaster at the pub.
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