Relishing in the new flavors you can find in your old favorite brews, tapped from a firkin, is just one of the many benefits of the small casks: the vessels used for conditioning and serving beer that is typically unfiltered, unpasteurized and served without additional nitrogen or carbon dioxide pressure, making it less carbonated and smoother than beer poured from a draft system.
Another plus to using a firkin for serving beer is that it’s kept at a warmer temperature, augmenting the flavor profile and aroma.
In other words, firkins can pull out fresh nuances of the beer your tongue hadn’t detected before. Brewers use the firkins to experiment with their beer recipes, sometimes adding new ingredients to the beer, such as a different type of hops or something more unusual like toasted coconut. And since the beer in them is thus very limited (the cask holds about 41 liters of liquid), beer lovers often scramble to get their hands on a glass of some before it’s all gone.
Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden on Rainey Street is making the scramble a little easier with a firkin tapping every Thursday at 6 p.m. Each of the beers will have been “infused with unexpected additions such as fruits, herbs and spices,” according to a press release.
Here’s the full list of February firkin tappings.Thursday: Jester King Le Petit Prince, dry hopped with Mosaic hopsFeb. 12: a double tapping of (512) Bruin with French oak tips and (512) Cascabel Cream Stout Mexican Hot ChocolateFeb. 19: Circle Night Light with Guatemalan coffeeFeb. 26: Ballast Point Victory at Sea with Devil’s Share Whiskey-soaked oak chips
6 p.m. Thursdays. Free. 79 Rainey Street. bangersaustin.com.