Triple Rock Brewery in Berkeley is having their Annual Firkin Festival tomorrow. What’s a firkin you say? Well, in “olden times”, it was an English unit of measurement equal to “a fourth of a barrel”. So, depending on who was making your barrels, variations in actual volume existed. In a modern, craft beer sense, a firkin refers to the actual vessel that holds a cask ale. Still confused? I’m sure it’s nothing going to the Firkin Festival won’t fix. Here are the event details:
Who: Triple Rock Brewery
What: 2010 Firkin Festival website (The information on this link is sure to change after the event is over)
Where: Triple Rock Brewery, 1920 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, CA map
When: Saturday, April 24, 2010 @ 11am
Why: Because firkins are an endangered species who cannot speak for themselves. It’s up to us to spread the word. Most importantly, this is a benefit for the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation.
Cost: $20 admission (Keepsake glass with 6 drink tickets/tokens). Additional tastes are $2 each, $5 for 3.
Despite the unusual name, this is a festival celebrating cask beer. Cask-conditioned beers are basically very fresh beers, naturally carbonated in their casks (firkins) that were meant to be consumed fresh. While there is no central flavor profile for all these beers, as you can cask-condition any beer, the one note to tie them all together will be a lower than usual carbonation level that will give these beers a smoother body, some have described as creamy, while other beers may seem flat or have very low carbonation. Believe it or not, this was how all beer was made back in “the olden days” so this festival is a throwback to traditional brewing methods/beer delivery process as much as anything else.
In any event, the last time I was there, I remember enjoying myself and wanting to try more beers than I had tokens for. Not sure if they’re still limiting the number of people that are able to enter the brewpub at any given time so be prepared for delays.