Milwaukee Firkin Fest is a celebration of Milwaukee beer, past, present and future. We know our beer is great now but the future looks pretty firkin bright from where we are sitting. After all, we’re from Milwaukee and we ought to know…yah der hey!

Firkin Fest Highlights

  • Sample from Over 150 Brews
  • More than 40 Firkins on Site
  • Breweriana Tent (Beer Memorabilia)
  • Commemorative Pint Glass to all Attendees
  • Live Entertainment – Paradise Marching Band


Festival Hours

VIPs 3-7:30 pm
General Admission 4-7:30 pm


Firkin Facts

What’s a Firkin you ask?

A firkin, derived from the Dutch word vierdekijn (meaning fourth), is actually a small barrel of beer that is one-fourth the size of a stand full barrel of beer; as opposed to a standard beer barrel, which contains 30.96 gallons, a firkin full of cask ale will contain a volume of 10.79 gallons. A firkin is typically dedicated to housing “true ale” (i.e., cask-conditioned ale), or beer that has not been cold-filtered, pasteurized and carbonated by outside equipment. The ale beer that is housed inside the firkin is naturally carbonated by its resident yeast and its ingredients have not been processed in any way outside of simple fermentation by the yeast.


Word Origin & History

a small wooden keg


small cask or barrel


“fourth part of a barrel,” 1391, from M.Du. *vierdekijn, dim. of vierde, lit. “fourth, fourth part”

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper


fir·kin   (fûr’kĭn)n.
A small wooden barrel or covered vessel.
Any of several British units of capacity, usually equal to about 1/4 of a barrel or 9 gallons (34 liters).

[Middle English ferken, ferdekin, probably from Middle Dutch *verdelkijn, diminutive of veerdel, one-fourth : veerde, fourth; see kwetwer- in Indo-European roots + deel, part; see dail- in Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition


Download the My BrewFests App for more Firkin Fest info and to vote for the winner of the Big Firkin Award!






Paradise Marching Band




Chicagoans – take Amtrack to Firkin Fest!

Amtrak Depart 1:05 pm Chicago,  Arrives in MKE 2:34

Departs for Chicago 7:35