Take a look at this little treatise on carbonation:
The present price of Bass's or Allsopp's pale ale in wood is 33s. per kilderkin (18 gallons), being 1s. 10d. per gallon; the same quantity of ale in bottle (reputed pints, at 4s. 3d.) costs 76s. 6d., being 4s. 3d. per gallon, or 2.5 the price in wood. Those, then, who desire to drink their ale aerated with caibonic acid or effervescing, must add to 1s. 10d. per gallon, the cost in wood, an additional 2s. 5d.; and hence it happens that, in spite of the unequivocal verdict of taste, bottled ale is only habitually consumed by the wealthier classes, the great bulk of the people being debarred by motives of economy from taking it, except as an occasional luxury. The public at large not being able to afford to drink the kind they would prefer, fluctuate as an alternative between two evils ; — either, on the one hand, they have a small cask of beer, with the result of drinking it fresh and good the first week (or fortnight, according to its quality and the weather), passable, the second, and flat and hard the third, with a residue of five per cent so sour as to be obliged to be thrown away; or, tired or sour beer, they have recourse to the notoriously adulterated mixture of the retailer, and knowingly barter the purity of their liquor for the higher average of freshness and palatability obtained by his more rapid consumption.
Such is the present position of the British public with regard to their national beverage, but such it will remain no longer. An exceedingly simple apparatus has just been invented, by means of which ale on draught may be impregnated with any desired amount of carbonic acid, thus acquiring the sparkling character and valuable dietetic properties of bottled ale, with a decidedly superior flavor, for the carbonic acid, not being produced at the expense of the saccharine matter of the liquor, as in the case of bottled ale, the drink does not undergo that impoverishment or attenuation which, to the palate of many, forms a great drawback to the use of bottled malt liquor. If, as we are assured, draught ale can be aerated in the manner described, and a beverage produced which is universally preferred to bottled ale, at one tenth the additional cost of the latter, we hope to see the benefit conferred by the invention brought within the reach of all members of the community, and the poorest classes enabled to drink whatever malt liquor they can afford sparkling and effervescing with carbonic acid in its highest state of perfection."
"Every Saturday 1866, vol. 1", 1866, page 410.
There are some pretty bold claims there. For example, that bottled beer is easier on the stomach. I'd go as far as to say that's total bollocks. As the owner of a sensitive stomach I can assure you that highly-carbonated beer is the last thing you need. Draught beer gives you a headache? I can't imagine how that could possibly be true.
I'd always wondered about the practice of having a cask in the house. Especially when you see them advertising ones as large as full barrels. My first thought was: "How long did it take them to finish off a cask?" Because I know well the limited shelf-life of a broached cask. If, as stated above, it took three weeks, you'd expect the beer to have been pretty bad by the end. I'm not sure I'd give anything over a week old the time of day. Admittedly, in the 1860's the beer would have been at least 5% ABV and possibly quite a bit more. So I guess it would have lasted a little longer than a 3% Mild.
Why does the author specifically mention Allsopp and Bass Pale Ale? Because Pale Ale was the type of beer most often bottled. That and Stout. I've an enamel sign in my stairwell advertising Whitaker's (of Bradford) bottled beers. It must be from the late 19th century. There are only two types of beer illustrated: Pale Ale and Stout.
Finally, here's paragraph three. Where it gets really fascinating. This must be one of the earliest references I've see to the artificial carbonation of draught beer. As a committed CAMRA member, I'm horrified by his unqualified praise for keg beer. Though, in his defence, he hadn't actually drunk any. In his expectation of carbonated draught beer's dominance, was he being eerily prescient or just naively optimistic. I'll leave that for you decide.