Beer Festivals Culture

Houston Firkin Fest – Preview

firkinFest-houThe third annual Houston Firkin Fest will be held on April 30 at Hennessey Park next to Saint Arnold brewery. So, what exactly is a firkin? According to Webster Dictionary a firkin is, “a small cask used chiefly for liquids, butter, or fish.” It is also a specific size holding 72 imperial pints or 10.79 US gallons (because this is America after all). It can be wooden or metal, and if you’ve ever seen one tapped, you would probably remember it. To open the air sealed firkin, the cask is laid on its side and a spout is driven into it with a mallet. It’s pretty cool if you ask me and one of the exciting things to watch for at the festival.

Why would a brewery use a firkin over a regular keg? Well, the firkin lends itself better to allowing natural conditioning and makes the beer have a smoother finish because of the lack of CO2 needed. It is also an outlet for a brewery to try something special like adding fruit, chocolate, coffee, spices or any other adjunct that the brewery wants to experiment with. Breweries now a days seem to like to use these to add an adjunct to a beer that they commonly brew, and that is what makes this festival so exciting. These beers will be unique. Yes, some of the breweries will have firkins of something they regularly sell, but just putting that in the firkin will change it a bit. In addition, this year there will we a draft wall with 10 limited releases from the participating breweries.

Speaking of participating breweries, it’s a who’s who of the Texas craft beer scene. The festival is actually run by the Texas Craft Brewers Guild, so in many ways it’s the breweries putting this on. The following breweries are planning on participating: Real Ale Brewing Company, Saint Arnold Brewing Company, Freetail Brewing Co., Deep Ellum Brewing Company, Brigadoon Brewery & Brew School, (512) Brewing Company, Cycler’s Brewing, Karbach Brewing Co., No Label Brewing Co., 8th Wonder Brewery, Lone Pint Brewery, New Republic Brewing Company, Southern Star Brewing Company, Brazos Valley Brewing Company and Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company.

Check back as the festival nears as we will update this article with the full beer list, and check back after the festival as I will be writing up a review. I’d love to hear about what you’re drinking and enjoying most that day. So, write a comment after the festival, or better yet, come say hello if you see me; I’ll be out there enjoying it.


Firkin List:

(512) Brewing Company

(512) Indian Pale Ale
(512) Six Anniversary Dubbel

8th Wonder Brewery

Peanut Butter Chocolate Rocket Fuel

Brigadoon Brewery & Brew School

Black Plague Ale (Aged in a Ranger Creek Whiskey Barrel)

Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co.

Mao Cowbell
Maple Chili Jam

Cycler’s Brewing

Ryed Hard
55-11 Special

Deep Ellum Brewing Company

IPA Tongue Punch
Very Berry Dallas Blonde

Freetail Brewing Co.

Mandarina Helles
Double Cherry Bexarliner

Karbach Brewing Company

BBH Horchata
Hop Delusion

Lone Pint Brewery

The Jabberwocky
Gentlemans Relish

New Republic Brewing

Kacao Kadigan
Dammit I’m Dry

No Label Brewing Company

Old Fashion Ridgeback Ale
Dark & Stormy 1st Street Blonde

Real Ale Brewing Company

White (Cask Conditioned White with Fresh Grapefruit)
Real Heavy

Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Grapefruit Technique
Divine Reserve 15

Southern Star Brewing 

Deez Hazelnutz
Conspiracy Theory IPA

If you get the urge for more carbonation, this year Firkin Fest is offering some traditional draft options as well.


(512) Brewing Company

(512) THREE

Cycler’s Brewing

Palmares Bourbon Barrel

Deep Ellum Brewing Company

Numb Comfort

Freetail Brewing Co.

Cherry Bexarliner

Karbach Brewing Company


No label Brewing Company

Off Label Series: Peanut Butter Chocolate Time!

Real Ale Brewing Company

Lux Aeterna

Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Bishop’s Barrel 10

Southern Star Brewing

Spring Pils

For more detailed descriptions, check out


Location: Hennessey Park, 1900 Lyons Ave, Houston, TX  77020

Time: 2 — 6 PM with VIP entrance starting at 12:30 PM

Parking: Free at Saint Arnold as well as on street

Tickets: VIP, General Admission and Designated Driver tickets are available at: Https://



Twitter: @htxfirkinfest


Facebook Event RSVP: Https://




I am a husband and father to two little girls, and live in the Missouri City area. I've been drinking craft beer for as long as I could, and really have delved into it over the last 5 years or so. I graduated from Texas A&M in 1999, and follow Aggie football through all of the pain that brings. Speaking of pain from sports, I'm also an Astros and Texans fan.

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