Firkin Fest 2010

In line at the Happy Gnome
In Line at the Happy Gnome

My wife and I arrived around 1:30 at the fest site next to the Happy Gnome in St. Paul.  A large circus style tent was the center of action.  The day was sunny and cool.  The line to enter the tent wrapped around the Happy Gnome.

Waiting in line for the Firkin Fest
Waiting in Line for the Firkin Fest

The crowd was in a good mood and before long we were inside.

Firkin Fest Tent
Firkin Fest Tent

We purchased $20 worth of tickets so we got one golden ticket for a sample of Harviestoun Ola Dubh 40 yr.

Sample glass
Sample glass

Each sample was around 2 ounces.  I had good intentions about keeping notes on the various samples and had purchased a special Beer Sketchbook from  I quickly gave up on notetaking because it interfered with the main activity of the afternoon, beer sampling!  The tent was crowded and noisy.  Thirty four breweries were present.  We started off down the east row of firkins.  Then first beer to catch my eye was the Bell’s Hop Slam  which was delicious.


Sue was able to find several craft beers to sample.  She preferred the maltier amd milder beers like the brown ales and the Surly Mild.

Sue Miskimins
Sue at the Firkin Fest

My tastes were more hoppy and extreme.  I would have to say that the Surly oak aged, dry hopped Darkness was my favorite.

Dale and Surly Darkness
Dale with Surly Darkness

One beer I was looking forward to was the Brau Brothers Elisha’s Olde Ale.  Elisha Page from Sioux Falls won the South Dakota Homebrewers Challenge and was given the chance to have his beer brewed by the Brau Brothers Brewing Co. of Lucan, MN.  The beer was good and I will certainly pick up a bomber of it first chance I get (probably at Good Spirits in Sioux Falls).  We ran into a group of Sioux Falls homebrewers led by Tim Gjoraas.  It was good to see some familiar faces.

After we went down the west side of the tent we were out of tickets and ready for some food.  The Muddy Pig was our last stop of the afternoon.

The Muddy Pig
The Muddy Pig

We had a short walk through the Cathedral Hill neighborhood to get there.  Sue was impressed by many of the well kept older homes along the walk.

Muddy Pig Pint
A pint at the Muddy Pig

The Firkin Fest was lots of fun and we will definitely make it again next spring!  A complete listing of the beer served and judging results can be found here.

Before I forget, the Harviestoun Ola Dubh 40 yr was great!