DURANGO, Colo. — As is now tradition on the first Friday of the month, Steamworks Brewing Co. continues its Firkin Fridays event on Apr. 4, 2014, offering up an homage to Spring and a devilishly good, cask-conditioned brew. The Devil’s Bouquet firkin will be tapped at 3 p.m.
“The base is our Ale Diablo, which is a strong, golden ale,” said Steamworks Brew Master and Certified Cicerone┬« Ken Martin. “We added rose hips and elderflowers as a nod to the spring season here in Durango, and maybe to pay a bit of reverence to the weather gods to send us some much needed precipitation.”
Also added to the cask was concentrated wine grape juice as a sugar source to achieve refermentation, according to Martin. With cask conditioning, the yeast transforms the sugar into alcohol, and the natural carbonation results from the trapped carbon dioxide occurring as a byproduct. The beer’s flavors and characters develop within the cask.
“Our Ale Diablo has a fruity aroma and taste, so the resulting firkin should have a fruity, estery quality, and quite smooth,” said Brewer and Certified Cicerone┬« Spencer Roper. “But remember that the Ale Diablo has a potent ABV (alcohol by volume) of 8 percent, and with the extra fermentables, it’ll probably be closer to 9.5 percent ABV. This will not be a beer for amateurs.”
By definition, a firkin is an old English unit of volume, typically a wooden cask equal to approximately one-quarter of a regular barrel, or nine/ten gallons. The word “firkin” is derived from the Middle Dutch word vierdekijn, which means “fourth” as in one-fourth the size.
Firkin beer is unpasteurized, unfiltered and naturally carbonated, or conditioned, in its cask. It is served at approximately 55 degrees – cool but not cold, and contains no preservatives, so is designed to be consumed after tapping.
Steamworks initiated its Firkin Fridays to introduce unusual, specialty craft beers to patrons, and augment its regular, award-winning offerings. Steamworks, open 11 a.m. to closing seven days a week, is located at 801 E. Second. Ave., Durango (970.259.9200). For further information, visit www.steamworksbrewing.com.