You say Firkin-off, I say F-off! Call me a grumpy git, miserable bastard or whatever…when it comes to the subject of “beer battles” and what absolute bullshit they are I’ll take either as a compliment. Let me backtrack a little. A week or so ago I saw a few tweets popping up about a “firkin-off” between our friends at DuClaw and ourselves at The Ale House, Columbia on 5/17. This certainly raised my eyebrows as it was news to me.
For many years now CAMRA have been running a “Mild May” campaign to raise awareness of this classic, and once almost extinct, British beer style. Coming from the West Midlands as I do, a bastion of mild ale drinking, it’s always been one of my favorite beer styles and I spent many happy hours of my student life and beyond in the Nursery Tavern, a stones throw from my flat in Coventry supping pints of mild and playing darts.
I hope that you are already aware that we have traditional English open fermenting vessels here in our subterranean world. There’s no denying that open fermentation is a risky business. The possibilities for contamination are great but obviously we do everything in our power to minimize them. The rewards are greater than the risks in my opinion.
We’ve got some some celebrating to do people … I hope you’re up for it! First off there’s the matter of my birthday this coming Sunday. Turns out that the Ravens have rather selfishly managed to get into the post season and have the small matter of the playoff game with New England to deal with on that day…apparently that “top trumps” my turning 48.