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Fun and confusion with firkins

Published: April 1, 2014, 6:35 pm, by Stephanie Earls

PowersFirkinOh, the firkin fun that’s been had with the firkin, a term that’s close enough to a bad word to earn a “hunh?” and chuckle among newbies. Serendipity, thy name is beer!

But what is a firkin, aside from a word that lets brewers get cheeky with promotional material? 

By definition, it’s a measurement of cask-conditioned ale that equals about one-quarter of a standard keg (“I drank too much and feel like I could hurl a firkin.”) The cask in which the ale is contained is also called a firkin (“If you play Mumford & Sons one more time, I’m smashing this firkin over your head.”)

A firkin holds about 72 pints and requires a bit of skill, and a mallet, to tap. The brew is then served right from the cask in which it was fermented.

See and taste for yourself at firkin tappings this week in the Springs:

  • Old Chicago will unveil a “traveling firkin” of Bristol’s Winter Warlock cask with vanilla and coffee, 6 p.m. Thursday at the restaurant’s Powers location, 3190 New Center Point
  • Trinity Brewing Company will host a monthly First Saturday Firkin Tapping! at noon, 1466 Garden of the Gods Road West, #184. Firkin pints are $3.