The wooden plug sealing the top of a cask. The shive contains a central plug which is opened to the air before dispense. Wooden pegs called spiles are inserted in the centre of the shive to control air inlet and gas release from the beer. Porous spiles allow air through but reduce contamination from particles and are used during the serving period. Impermeable, hard spiles are used to temporarily seal the cask between serving periods.

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