Beer Man

Thank God it's First Firkin Friday: Hops & Pie and others celebrate

Hops & Pie, one of several beer-focused eateries that have opened in recent months, is upping the ante when it comes to attracting beer geeks. The pizza joint has begun a series of Firkin First Friday events, which take place in conjuction with the Tennyson Street art district's monthly First Friday events.

"We are one of the only non-breweries in town that is making firkins a regular thing," says Drew Watson, who opened Hops & Pie in September with his wife, Leah. (For some of the breweries who have Firkin Friday events, look below.)

Firkins are small, nine- to ten-gallon kegs popular in the United Kingdom. Breweries often take one of their regular beers and add ingredients to a firkin to put a new spin on it. Then the contents are served cask style, meaning they don't have added carbonation from a tap.

"They take a regular beer and church it up," Watson says.

Today at 6 p.m., Hops & Pie will tap two firkins from Left Hand Brewing. The first is a keg of Twin Sisters Double IPA dry hopped with a extra load of Magnum hops. The second is a keg of Fade to Black, Left Hand's smoked winter seasonal.

Last month, Hops & Pie debuted its Firkin Fridays with a cask of double dry-hopped Gordon from Oskar Blues; it was one of the only times that the Longmont brewery has served a firkin outside of its own establishments.

Watson said it was emptied in just over an hour.

Wynkoop Brewing Company taps a new firkin every Friday around 4:30 p.m. Examples of past firkins include an ESB spiked with ginger and a coconut vanilla stout. Firkin master Jason Zumbrunnen is planning a raspberry chocolate milk stout today.

Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora celebrates Firkin Friday each week around 3 p.m. Today, the brewery will tap a firkin of its Naked Porter that's been amped up with more than a pound of toasted coconut.

City 'O City periodically taps firkins from Great Divide, the Wynkoop and other breweries.

Great Divide Brewing also taps the occasional firkin.

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes