Carmel Firkin Fest returns for second year, moves to Friday night


After an inaugural year, the Carmel Firkin Fest will return from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Aug. 30 at Union Brewing Co., 622 S. Range Line Rd.

The event is a partnership between UBC and Indiana on Tap, an online destination to learn about craft beer news, events and information. It will feature 10 breweries serving only firkins, which are cask-brewed ales with a creamier mouth feel and less bite from carbonation. A tap beer is force-carbonated, like a soda. In a cask beer, the carbonation process occurs naturally.

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Rian Umbach, head brewer at Field Brewing in Westfield, pours a firkin at last year’s inaugural Carmel Firkin Fest. (File photo by Anna Skinner)

“It’s a smaller event. We really want it to make a more of a partnership, more of a premier event,” Indiana on Tap Founder Justin Knepp said. “Union Brewing does shut down the taproom for the event. In the world of craft beer, it is truly, legitimately a unique event because it’s the only event that is truly cask-ale only. There’s a cask ale section at some bigger events, but that’s more of an after-thought. Cask ale is what UBC does.” 

There are only 225 tickets available for the event. Last year, the event took place during the day on a Saturday and this year it will be on a Friday evening. There will be live music and food available for purchase. Tickets are $40 for early admission or $50 at the door if tickets are still available.

UBC recently opened a new patio, renovated for free by Hoosier Landscape Group, to better showcase artists and cater to more guests. It is equipped with string lights and a fire pit.

“It’s such a great location and off the Monon Trail,” Knepp said. “By moving it to an evening event, we can take advantage of some of that ambience and it’s a cool way to showcase their patio as well.”

For more or to purchase tickets, visit