Steamworks Brewing Co. to Tap Specialty Beer at the Brewpub

DURANGO, Colo. — It won’t be a literal train wreck, but the special firkin christened “Train Wreck,” to be tapped Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, at Steamworks Brewing Co.’s Firkin Friday is likely to pack a significant punch. The “Train Wreck” keg will be tapped at 3 p.m. as part of Steamworks’ monthly showcase of unique hand-crafted beers.

“We’ve had a staff favorite we called ‘Train Smoke,’ which is a 50-50 blend of our Conductor Imperial IPA, and the Backside Stout, and the bartenders blend it from the taps,” said Steamworks Brew Master and Certified Cicerone┬« Ken Martin. “We just thought we’d save them the trouble and do the blending ourselves as a cask-conditioned beer, a firkin. We think it will be kicked up a notch, thus ‘Train Wreck.’”

The resulting flavor of blending the Conductor and Backside Stout will be an aggressively hopped ale with the roasted coffee and chocolate characteristics typical of a stout. According to Martin, it will closely resemble an increasingly popular, emerging style in the craft brewing industry called a Black IPA.

In addition to the potent flavor, the Train Wreck’s base beers pack a punch with the ABV (alcohol by volume) weighing it at 8.7 for the Conductor and 6.4 for the Backside Stout.

“In the United Kingdom cask-conditioned beer, which we call a firkin, is known as ‘real ale,’” noted Steamworks Brewer and Certified Cicerone┬« Spencer Roper. “Authentic cask ale must be kept at ‘cellar temperature’ — which is about 54 degrees — as it’s conditioned in its cask, and that’s what we do in the ‘cellar’ — the basement — at Steamworks.”

In cask conditioning, the yeast transforms the sugar into alcohol within the cask, and the natural 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.

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.

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. For further information, visit