Durango, CO – With ski season underway, Steamworks Brewing Co. will expand its special monthly “firkin” tapping beyond the brewpub, adding Firkin Fridays at Purgatory Resort during the season. The December firkin featured at Steamworks and on the mountain is the “Spruced Stout,” to be tapped Friday, Dec. 2, 2016.
“In honor of ski season, our next four firkins will be Backside Stout-based,” said Steamworks Brew Master and Certified Cicerone Ken Martin, noting that Backside Stout, one of Steamworks’ original (and award-winning) beers, was named in honor of the runs on the backside of Purgatory mountain. “Along the way, over the next few months, we’ll be revisiting some old favorites, but this first firkin is a new flavor.”
The Spruced Stout features the fresh spruce tips harvested this past summer for use in Steamworks’ annual holiday brew, Spruce Goose.
“We are using them in a very similar way by essentially making a tea from the tips and adding it to the beer for that unmistakable flavor and aroma,” said Martin. “But for the Spruced Stout firkin, we’ve added holiday spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and a few other surprises to make the season we’re celebrating quite obvious.”
“You have two opportunities to find out exactly how these flavors are going to play together. Join us on the 2 nd ,” added Brewer and Certified Cicerone Spencer Roper.
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.
In the United Kingdom cask-conditioned beer, which Steamworks calls a firkin, is known as “real ale.” Authentic cask ale must be kept at “cellar temperature” – which is about 54 degrees – as it’s conditioned in its cask. This is done in Steamworks’ “cellar” – the basement at the brewpub on E. 2nd Ave.
In cask conditioning, the yeast transforms the sugar into alcohol within the cask, and carbonation results from the trapped carbon dioxide occurring as a byproduct.
Firkin beer is unpasteurized and unfiltered and served at cellar temperature – cool but not cold.
Steamworks Brewing Co., celebrating 20 years in 2016, initiated its Firkin Fridays to introduce unusual, specialty craft beers to patrons, and augment its regular, award-winning offerings. Open 11 a.m. to closing seven days a week, Steamworks is located at 801 E. Second. Ave., Durango (970.259.9200). For further information, visit www.steamworksbrewing.com.