Rare Beer Tapping @FS_LittleRock Thurs Jan 30th firkin of @Diamond_Bear Paradise Porter with Dekuyper Hazel Nut Liquor and Cacao nibs 6PM
Yes, another firkin coming up. You won't hear me complaining though as I think they're pretty fun and can get sort of creative sometimes, although I've also had my share of boring ones. That's the fun in it I guess. The one above from Diamond Bear definitely has me intrigued though.
— Woo Pig Brewey! (@WooPigBrewey) January 27, 2014
So what is a firkin and what makes is special? Well if you don't want to click that handy link there from Examiner.com then I've paraphrased a bit below:
"A firkin, which is derived from the Middle Dutch word vierdekijn (meaning fourth), is actually a small barrel of beer that is one-fourth the size of a regular barrel of beer. As opposed to a standard beer barrel, which contains 117.34 liters or roughly 30.96 gallons, a firkin full of cask ale will contain a volume of 40.91 liters or 10.79 gallons. These volume sizes are provided in U.S.-based gallons.
The firkin is typically dedicated to housing Real Ale (i.e., cask-conditioned ale), or beer that has not been cold-filtered, pasteurized and carbonated by outside equipment. The ale beer that is housed inside the firkin is naturally carbonated by its resident yeast and its ingredients have not been processed in any way outside of simple fermentation by the yeast. In essence, firkin-contained Real Ale is comparable to the ale beers that were produced hundreds of years ago, before industrialization subjected them to processes that removed and/or killed the yeast, stripping the beer of many of its inherent vitamins (especially the B vitamins), minerals, and perhaps most importantly, taste."
So now you know! It's really just another way to enjoy some beer, like I need any excuse to get out and drink a few.
Here's a video from a recent Diamond Bear firkin tapping at Andina Cafe here in Little Rock. For the record, that's me standing over Bonz' shoulder at the :25 second mark, looking thirsty (and shockingly sober).