With only one week to go until Firkfest in Anaheim, I think its safe to say most of us in the LA and OC beer communities are absolutely buzzing with excitement for this event. While host Greg Nagel of OCBeerblog has been pretty tight with the details thus far, it pays to be in the cask business (not really, I do this for free). But I did get to glimpse the cask list for the event and there’s some really fantastic stuff available from breweries both big and small. If you haven’t bought tickets yet, what the hell are you waiting for? If you need more convincing, here’s a small taste of whats going to be available:
Cask: Little Bo Pils
Brewery: Smog City Brewing (Torran
Why You Should Care: Its actually quite rare to find lighter fare like a pilsner on cask, as its assumed the big flavors of stouts, porters and IPA’s lend themselves to the effects of the cask conditioning a bit better. But as locals have come to expect, Smog City like to do things their own way. This will likely be the only pilsner available at Firkfest, but not only is Little Bo Pils a great beer, Jonathan Porter from Smog City has also gone on record saying that the best cask he’s ever had was a pilsner and I don’t think Smog City would be dragging this one out to Anaheim if they weren’t convinced it would impress.
Cask: Wolf In Heat
Brewery: Golden Road Brewing (Glendale)
Why You Should Care: I don’t think I’m alone in the belief that Wolf Among Weeds is one of the best offerings from Golden Road, and one of the best Double IPA’s you can get in LA. Its citrusy, dank and piney in all the right places and surprisingly light for an 8% beer. When pulled from a cask these flavors all meld perfectly, but its the silky texture that really impresses. Firkfest will feature a version brewed with hot peppers, which will be a welcome twist to whats becoming a classic for LA beer fans. And what could be more satisfying on a hot spring Southern California day than some citrusy hops with a bit of a spicy kick?
Cask: Simcoe Showers
Brewery: Noble Aleworks (Anaheim)
Why You Should Care: Do I even have to explain? If anyone has been slacking on this series of single-hop double IPA’s from Noble, they are seriously missing out. This past week I did a side-by-side tasting of the Nelson Showers and Amarillo Showers and they are both mind-numbingly good. What makes this series so effective is that Noble has really dialed in a malt profile that expertly showcases what each hop has to offer. There’s a lot of single-hop IPA’s out there, but few are as good as this. Firkfest will be among the first (that I know of at least) to get a taste of the next in the series, and I have a feeling this one is going to go quickly.
Firkfest is being held on Saturday March 22 2014 from Noon to 4pm at Farmers Park in Anaheim. Tickets are available on Brown Paper Tickets and I’m sure are running out. I have a feeling that in a couple years we will all look back on this event as that moment where cask conditioned ales really took off in Los Angeles and Orange County, and I for one want a front row seat. Hope to see you there!