7 Beers You Missed at Firkfest
Written By: Gabrielle Abenoja
Photographed By: Shelby Reith Firkfest
Unfiltered and full-flavored, Firkfest is the annual celebration of flavor that Southern Californian beer enthusiasts, brewers, and straight beer newbies yearn for.
What makes Firkfest unique is the sheer simplicity of its existence. It’s a themed party, set atop the beautifully landscaped Anaheim Farmer’s Park that connects the Anaheim Packing District and Packard Building, and offers delicious drinks crafted around this year’s designated theme. Short, sweet, and to the point: 2015 offered a Chili Cookoff, 2016 offered a Day at the Park. This year was tropical themed: Caskaway, a Tiki Beer Fest.
Cask beer is a beautifully flavored, unfiltered one-of-a-kind concoction that’s been fermented within a cask. Because of it’s delicate nature, the beer made is highly perishable and is usually meant to be consumed within a day or two of untapping. Which makes the brews offered at Firkfest truly exceptional.
With full force, 30 of Southern California’s craft breweries loaded up their tropical themed concoctions in their firkin-sized casks (and you thought the name was just fun to say) and made their way to the city of Anaheim to pour their creations for the world to enjoy. What did this mean for our taste buds? A tropical adventure within each pour! Exotic notes of cinnamon, passionfruit, coconut – oh my! Pineapple, hibiscus, and even some mango made their way into certain beers; there were even hints of vanilla to round out the deeper brews.
Here are some favorites from Firkfest you might’ve missed!
Anaheim Brewery | Coconut Hefeweizen!
Light and refreshing with a slight touch of toasted coconut and banana. Like a great wheat beer, it had a wonderful, hazy look to it that poured out so beautifully when untapped. It was so pretty, we almost couldn’t drink it.
Los Angeles Ale Works | Bluume
Pineapple foam atop notes of passionfruit. Get out of town with that wonderfully sour and sweet combo. This Bluume deserves all the flowery awards as it literally bloomed in flavor! The only things missing were a tiny paper umbrella and a pool floatie to send us off on our South Pacific fantasy.
Barley Forge | The Patsy
This beer has those deep chocolate and coffee tones we adore in our stouts, but garnished with hints of smoky roasted coconut. What a dream The Patsy is – chocolate covered, coconut flavored dream. Thankfully, this brew wasn’t a one-off. It’s a staple at Barley Forge. Get your growler filled and ready yourself for delicious candied coconut evenings – or afternoons.
Mikkeller Brewing San Diego | Beer Geek Tiki-Land
The stouts at Firkfest got us like whoa: fruity, deep, and smoky. The perfect tropical luau in a drink with a mango and pineapple combo that had our taste buds reeling while the coconut offered a deep, toasty taste that we can’t stop thinking about.
Good Beer Company | Wubalubadubdub
When we want to talk sours on a sunny day, we’ll head over to Good Beer Company and talk to them about their whimsically-named and made-just-for-Firkfest brew and how we wish it were a mainstay. With hints of cinnamon and vanilla, they’ve got us wanting more.
Barley Forge | Wedding Tackle
Bright, flowery, and wowzers – the berries! All around lovely, the Wedding Tackle was perfect for warm weather, a picnic, and giant Jenga.
Riip Beer Co. | Riipbiscus
An IPA with floral, hibiscus tones, this beer was hoppy, wonderfully light, and perfect for our next romp through the tropics!
If you’re itching to try the featured breweries, there is no need to wait for the next Firkfest as most breweries featured are a couple of hours away or less!
Firkfest Cask Beer Festival
Anaheim Packing District
440 S Anaheim Blvd
Anaheim, CA 92805
Missed Firkfest? Here’s 9 Beers That Will Have You First in Line Next Year