You Haven’t Seen Anything Like This Firkin Festival

You Haven’t Seen Anything Like This Firkin Festival

by Mark E. Lasbury for Indiana On Tap

Walter and I visit many breweries and many festivals. We love seeing brewery friends and grabbing pours of their tried and true brews as well as their seasonal offerings. We like seeing what they can do with their brewing systems on a large scale and then seeing what new things stick around and become new cores or end up in the rotation of brews.

But, we also like seeing what a brewery can do when they are turned loose on a small volume and can let their imaginations run wild. One-off beers are good examples of this, but can also be larger scale and therefore constrained by the scale and needing to please a decent number of people (you’ve got to sell the beer).

To truly be set free, a brewery needs to turn to the firkin or the randall. And here’s where a festival coming up this weekend excels. 2Toms Brewing in Fort Wayne is hosting their 2nd Frozen Firkin Fest, an indoor/outdoor (heated) celebration of the extreme one-off beer. The festival will be held on Feb. 26 at the brewery from noon-4pm (get tickets at They use the taproom and a couple of large, heated tents, including an igloo.

image credit: WANE

In those two tents reside many beers that you’ve never seen before and will never see again. Take a core beer or a one-off and then transfer it to a firkin loaded with the wildest flavors you can imagine, and then serve it to beer-starved fans until it’s gone. You might use a classic beer style and turn it right or left with an incongruous ingredient. Or you may take an innovative beer and turn the dial up to 11 with something new or something old.

The point is – you’re seeing the brewery outside their normal box, and you’ll be trying something no one else is going to have. What’s even better, you’ll have bragging rights with your friends. I’ve got a sneak peek at some of the offerings for Saturday below, but first let me tell you about the rest of the fest.

The Todd Harrold Band will be playing, which should intrigue you because 2Toms knows how to pull in good musicians. In fact, last year’s Firkin Fest featured Samuel Harness just before he went on his great run on The Voice. That’s reason enough to get tickets now, but add in the fact that unlimited sampling tickets go from $30 to $40 on the day of the event, and it gives you more reason to get tickets now.

The taproom will also be open (family friendly) and 2Toms will have some special beers in there as well, along with food and their regular line-up. Full Circle BBQ inside and some guest food in the tents will help you ease your way through the 20+ guest breweries and their 24+ one off firkin offerings (beer, cider, mead).

So just what is in your future of “beyond rare” beers at Frozen Firkin Fest? Here’s a partial list – and just look at these participating breweries:

18th Street Brewery – a Russian imperial stout with cocoa nibs, vanilla beans and cinnamon, and then coconut added

Auburn Brewing – a mango milkshake IPA conditioned on tequila-soaked vanilla beans and a bit of lime

Bad Dad Brewery – a bourbon barrel aged English Stout with chocolate, coffee , maple bacon, and peanut butter

Black Dog Brewing – and imperial stout conditioned with coconut, vanilla, and coffee

Dot and Line Brewing – an English barleywine with sweet dark cherries, dates, and vanilla beans

Burn ‘Em Brewing – a sour brown with dried cranberries and cranberry juice, and conditioned on vanilla beans

Fortlandia Brewing – a Baltic porter that goes off at 11.6% ABV

HopLore Brewing – Barrel aged Amish Krack blended with B6 Amish Krack and conditioned on apple pies

Kekionga Craft – a winter pear/apple cider with cinnamon sticks and vanilla

Moontown Brewing – a trappist style Golden rested on orange and lemon peel, along with coriander and grains of paradise

Summit City Brewerks – a traditional bock conditioned on peanut butter

Tarnished Hollow Brewing – a northern English brown with vanilla, cinnamon bark and primed with concentrated blueberry juice

Terre Haute Brewing Company – a fruited pilsner with blood orange and cherry

Windmill Brewing – a milkshake IPA conditioned with orange juice, guava, vanilla, and marshmallows

That’s just some of what awaits you….why are you still here, go buy tickets!

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