Friday the Firkinteenth|
Friday the 13th is a special day at The Grey Lodge. We don't worry about black cats crossing our paths or broken mirrors because we have 25 or more firkins of cask conditioned ale ready to tap. So walk under a ladder or whatever you have to do to get to The Grey Lodge on Friday the 13th.
"This whole thing makes no sense whatsoever. It's totally random because the timing is entirely at the mercy of the calendar. It's held in this tiny neighborhood bar in Northeast Philadelphia, an area which is not exactly your mecca for great beer. Yet virtually every brewer within shouting distance would kill to be a part of it and people come from all over to stand shoulder-to-shoulder and hope they can get a beer from bartenders who are incredibly overworked. Scoats is either a genius or an idiot savant, I can't decide which. But God bless him." - Jack Curtin, beer writer
In July 2007, the nice folks at Jimmy Craic Head TV made this great video of Friday the Firkinteenth
In November 2009, Here for the Beer made a great video of Friday the Firkinteenth 21. (thanks to Max for noticing how to embed it.)
The next Friday the 13th is July 2012. The next one isn't until September 2013.
July 2012 Firkinteenth Details
updated as of 12 July 2012
- tapping begins at noon.
- At 10am, we will have special breakfast menu, a sort of greatest hits from our weekend brunch menu. Getting a good base of food on is usually a good idea.
- At 11am our full menu will be available. For the Firkinteenth, all food service will be 2nd floor only.
- Looks like we will have 21 firkins (maybe more) this time around, so we should have cask ale going until at least 10pm, probably later. Time permitting Scoats will be updating the news page and tweeting throughout the day with cask status.
- 7 firkins will be pouring at any time (except when we get down to less than 7), tapping a new one as one kicks. The order of the casks will be random, but hey there should be no stinkers in the line-up.
- Casks tapped/on deck/kicked will be updated on our news page throughout the day.
Current Cask List
- Dock Street dry hopped West of Center Ale
- Evil Genius Blind Eye PA
- Flying Fish Hopfish dry hopped with Simcoe
- Free Will Citra Pale Ale
- Fifty Fifty Charlie Brown
- Fullers London Porter
- Lancaster Hop Hog
- Long Trail Double IPA
- Manayunk Philadelphia Porter spiked with roasted coffee beans
- Nodding Head 60 Shilling
- Old Forge The Eleven Cascadian Dark Ale
- Philadelphia New Bold IPA
- Prism Summer of '69
- Round Guys Lansdale Pale
- Ruddles Country Ale
- Sly Fox Green Bullet Pale Ale
- Sixpoint Spice of Life - Amarillo
- Stoudts Festbier with Peaches
- Victory Ranch DIPA, with Citra and Simcoe
- Weyerbacher Last Chance IPA
- Yards Vanilla Love Stout
As usual, We will be stocking up on 8oz glasses so you can safely try several of these great beers. Also, as usual, there will be pitchers of water all over.
An interesting bit of trivia, this is probably the only beer event in the world whose frequency and timing are completely at the mercy of the calendar.
Events like Groundhog Day and Friday the Firkinteenth are too hectic for us run tabs or accept credit cards. On rare days like those we are cash only.
The Friday the Firkinteenth FAQ
How do I know what's currently on tap?
Every Firkinteenth, a sign for each beer is printed out from Open Office Presentations, as well as signs for On Deck, Tapped, and Kicked. These signs are cut out and duct tape is affixed to the backs. The signs are then taped up at the front and back of the bar, high enough to be visible. With the help of tall people and/or a step ladder, as beers progress from On deck to Tapped to Kicked, the sign is moved to appropriate column. It's super low tech, but it works.
What's the deal with ringing the bell?
Teacher says every time a bell rings, an angel gets it's wings. We ring the bell every time we kick a cask. Ergo kick a cask, an angel gets it's wings. Last firkinteenth, 25 angels got their wings. Sounds a bit random to us, but we are not ones to question God's plans. So come out drink some cask ale and help an angel get it's wings.
What's cask conditioned ale and why should I care?
Additional hops and sugars or wort are added to cask conditioned ales when they are barreled resulting in a secondary fermentation in the barrel. These ales tend to have very pleasing natural carbonation and are served at a higher temperature than regular draft beer. Due to the oxygen that enters the cask once it is opened, the shelf life is only a few days. This is beer at its freshest.
Cask conditioned ales are dispensed using gravity or a hand pump. Regular draft beer is pushed using either CO2, nitrogen or a combination of the two. Since the barrels will be sitting on the bar, we will be using gravity. We've stocked up on extra gravity for Friday the Firkenteenth; we'd hate to run out of it.
What's a pin? What's a firkin?
Firkins and pins are two sizes of casks. A firkin is 40.8 liters (10.8 US gallons). A pin is 20.4 liters (5.4 gallons). A typical US 1/2 barrel is 15.5 gallons.
How many Friday the Firkinteenth's are there per year?
Every 11 years (or so) there are three; 1998 was one of those years, when they fell in February, March and November. 2009 will have three. 2010 will have just one, in August. 2011 will have just one as well, in May. Here is an interesting article on the frequency of Friday the 13th. 2012 has 3, January, April and July; this our first year seeing this combination.
Firkinteenths - Past and Future
|35||Oct 2017||36||Apr 2018|
|37||Jul 2018||38||Set 2019|
|39||Dec 2019||40||Mar 2020|
Was the first Friday the Firkinteenth another First Time in the Northeast for The Grey Lodge Pub?
Sort of. Cask conditioned ales probably first found their way to Northeast Philadelphia about 350 years ago. We are, however, the first to bring them back after an absence of many decades.
How or even better why did Friday the Firkinteenth start?
Scoats wanted start serving cask-conditioned ales at The Grey Lodge, but thought it needed some sort of push to get it going. He saw somewhere, and with enough time to plan ahead, that 1998 was going to have three Friday the 13ths (this happens about every 11 years). The phrase "Friday the Firkinteenth" came to him in a vision while riding the Market Frankford El and the rest is history.
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