After my last sign off I’ve been asked what a firkin is.
A quick trip to Google reveals a firkin to be 40.9148269 liters. 40.9 liters is roughly 10.8 gallons.
Firkin is derived from a Dutch word meaning fourth. This leads to a firkin being a fourth the capacity of a barrel of beer. Besides being a unit of measure the word firkin has been associated with a small container of cask conditioned ale. In this special process a beer is transferred from the primary fermentation to the secondary where it finishes fermenting and naturally carbonating inside of the firkin. The beer is then served somewhat warm, in the mid 50s, from a beer hand pull pump instead of a typical tap due to the lower carbonation.
Often you will see bars offering some common beers that you have had before as firkins or cask ale. They will have different flavor profiles and mouth feels. Next time you see one give it a try, it’s definitely worth the experience.
That’s a high level overview of a firkin. Hopefully you can now go enjoy your next Firkin Friday.