Thursday, August 8, 2013

A Firkin Tapping at Gardina’s "Beer Bar"

Adam Carlson at Gardina’s continues to up the ante on beer at the popular downtown bar and cafe. Within the past nine months he’s added six tap lines, bringing their total to 12; started selling packaged beer in the retail store behind the cafe; and next up he’ll host the first installment of "Gardina's Beer Bar" series with a firkin tapping on Tuesday, August 20.

Before we get into the the guts of this, let’s talk about firkins. Essentially, a firkin is a keg (often a 1/4 barrel) of cask-conditioned beer or, as the Brits like to call it, real ale. The emphasis is on real, meaning the beer hasn’t been filtered, pasteurized or tampered with in such a way as to be stripped of the fulness of its flavor. These beers typically feature low carbonation and are at their best just after the tap is hammered into the keg. It is beer as it was intended to be.

The firkin tapped at Gardina’s will be Hopdinger with 4 Peels, a one-off ale from O’so Brewing of Plover. The base beer is O’so’s Hopdinger Pale Ale infused with lemon, grapefruit, sweet orange, and tangerine peels to enhance the citrus notes of the base beer. At 5.4% ABV, you’ll be able to have multiples and still function the following morning. And you’re probably going to want to have a few of them. There’s a good chance the keg will be emptied by night’s end and when it’s gone none of us are going to get it again.

The tapping, which in itself is something to see, will take place at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 20. Along with the beer, they’ll be selling "Gardina's Beer Bar" t-shirts for $12. Those will get you a $1 off any tap beer you purchase that night or anytime you wear it to future “Beer-Bar" events. You could turn that t-shirt into a freebie. At Gardina’s they’re planning on making these rare beer events into a monthly happening. Make it to this one and you can say you were there when it all started.

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