Today is the day! At 3:30pm Loveland’s own firkin festival, Real Ale Real Love, will be held at Grimm Brothers Taproom. The festival is an ode to the firkin, and a showcase of “real ales,” and is hosted by Loveland based breweries, Grimm Brothers Brewhouse and Verboten Brewing.

A firkin, is a small (1/4bbl) storage vessel often used for storing beer. A real ale, is the beer kept in a firkin. It is “real” because the beer is stored without the use of CO2 pressure, and is only naturally carbonated. Real ales are in essence a throwback to times before we put to use pressurized gas systems to deliver and store our beer. Once the seal of a firkin has been broken, the beer inside must be consumed within a short amount of time (less than a 24 hr. period), or else it will fall to the powers of oxidation and turn bad.

Why should I drink a real ale?

The answer is simple. The texture and mouthfeel of a real ale is velvety smooth, owing to the beverage’s natural carbonation. Some may describe a real ale as flat, but it really isn’t. Compared to a CO2 driven beer, yes, a real ale will undoubtedly feel less effervescent, but a naturally carbonated beer still has natural CO2 dissolved in it. The result is a beer that pours with lots and lots of tiny bubbles.

In addition to the pleasing mouthfeel of a real ale, the shear amount of experimentation put into concocting an exciting real ale is immense. Of course, brewer’s do make “standard,” real ales, with styles like: IPA’s, stouts, and red ales. But what makes a firkin festival unique is the creativity and freedom brewers are allowed to use when it comes to making a real ale. This comes down to again the vessel in which the beer is stored. Brewer’s will put almost anything into a real ale, with ingredients ranging from Reese’s peanut butter cups, to seaweed. Basically, brewer’s will start with a base beer, then add adjuncts to the beer that they think will be tasty, or interesting. In essence, a firkin is a vessel that is used to push the boundaries of what we know and think of beer. Following is a short list of a beers that will be pouring at Real Ale Real Love Firkin Festival, just to get your taste buds tingling!

Get your tickets here: or $35 at the door.

Alpine Dog Brewing:

peach habanero red ale.

Black Bottle Brewing:

High Country Collusion

Edition: The Big Arloski


Kellerbier, which translates to “cellar beer”, is an unfiltered German Style Lager or Ale. Our Kellerbier is a slightly Americanized version. We used German Pilsner malt and German Munich malt as well as American White Wheat. American grown, German style Mt Hood hops add a floral spicy character and it’s fermented with Lager yeast. The end result is a drinkable straw golden colored, unfiltered, opaque lager with a medium body.

ABV: 6.8%, SRM: 6, IBU: 22

Boulder Beer Co:

Mojo IPA Dry Hopped with Amarillo, Equinox, and Citra – Pale in color but packed with flavor, Mojo reflects the perfect balance of hop bitterness and malt character. The unique Amarillo hop creates a big, grapefruit-like citrus flavor and aroma, making Mojo a very zesty IPA that’s crisp and refreshing. ABV → 7.2% ABV IBU → 70

Grimm Brothers Brewhouse:

Old Fashioned – Like the famous cocktail.

Pateros Creek Brewing:

Swedish Fish Kolsch

Rally King Brewing:

McFarland’s Solera – barrel aged sour Solera

Snowbank Brewing:

Chocolate Almond Coconut Stout (actual name TBD) – Our 47 ½ Stout infused with toasted coconut, roasted almonds, and cacao nibs from Nuance Chocolate. 7.5% ABV, 60 IBU

Three Four Beer Co:

Sushi Beer. Ingredients: Rice, Ginger, Cucumber, Whirlfloc (Seaweed), Isinglass (Fish)

Pale ale made with the components of a sushi roll.

Upslope Brewing:

Citra Firkin

Verboten Brewing:

Skittles Gose

T.B.D. Barrel aged Firkin