The invasion has started in Great Falls.  Breweries from across the state and surrounding states will all converge on the Electric City this week to take part in the annual Craft Beer Week, happening across the area at various businesses.  A great time to get together with friends, enjoy some wonderful beers, exquisite foods from our restaurants, and the experience of a firkin tapping.

Getting Together and Smacking the Plug from A Jug

One of my favorite events of the entire adventure of Craft Beer week is the scene of getting the first few glasses of a freshly tapped keg.  But what is behind the curtain of the wood barrel that allows to tempt our taste buds with delicious beer?  Do you know what a firkin really is and the story behind it?

Enjoying A Firkin with Your Friends, Tasting the Refinement of Wood Aged Beer

The term firkin refers to the container that beer is made in.  But the cask itself is pretty special.  While it refers to the barrel, it also refers to the actual size of the barrel, coming in at 10.8 gallons.  Other sizes include pin-cask, which is 5.4 gallons, and the largest of the casks, referred to as kilderkin, which is 21.6 gallons.

The beer in a firkin is different in that it has no carbonation added before being placed into the cask.  It will show a cloudier mixture once poured.  It is usually poured from the keg once the wooden plug has been removed and a tap inserted to use to pour from.  Also of note is that the kegs should be kept at a temperature of no more than 55 degrees Fahrenheit.  This enhances the taste, smell and overall smoothness of the beer when sampling it.

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LOOK: Best Beers From Every State

To find the best beer in each state and Washington D.C., Stacker analyzed January 2020 data from BeerAdvocate, a website that gathers user scores for beer in real-time. BeerAdvocate makes its determinations by compiling consumer ratings for all 50 states and Washington D.C. and applying a weighted rank to each. The weighted rank pulls the beer toward the list's average based on the number of ratings it has and aims to allow lesser-known beers to increase in rank. Only beers with at least 10 rankings to be considered; we took it a step further to only include beers with at least 100 user rankings in our gallery. Keep reading to find out what the best beer is in each of the 50 states and Washington D.C.

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