Servin' a Firkin

Serving a firkin of beer at your party or event is easy. We can loan you everything you need to rack and serve your beer. A firkin will provide about 68 servable pints and will keep for 3-4 days. You'll need to leave the beer to settle for around 18-24 hours between placing it on the stand and it being ready to serve.



We'll provide a mallet, tap, spile (wooden peg) and stand.

Set up the Barrel

Position the stand on a solid level surface. Pick a shaded location where the barrel won't be accidentally disturbed.

Place the barrel on the stand with the rubber bung (the keystone) to the front and at the bottom. The plastic shive will be on top. Align the rear ridge of the barrel with the back legs of the stand. The barrel will sit at an angle, pointing downwards towards the front.

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Spile the Barrel

The spile is a wooden peg which is hammered through the plastic shive on the top of the barrel. Use the mallet to hit the spile through the shive - there's a dimple in the centre of the shive for the spile to go through.. Sometimes a little beer may escape so have a cloth to hand.

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If the weather is warm then you may like to drape a damp towel over the barrel. Keep the towel moist, it will cool the beer.

Tap the Barrel

The tap is hit through the keystone at the front of the barrel. The tapered tap makes a seal and is kept in place by the keystone.

Make sure you have the tap in the closed position (it keeps your feet dry)


Unscrew the spout from the front of the tap.


Hold the tap just behind the valve.


Hit the front of the tap firmly with the mallet until a good seal is formed around the tap. It's not unusual for a little beer to escape so have a cloth to hand.


Screw the spout back onto the front of the tap.



It will take 18-24 hours for the beer to settle, become clear and be ready to drink.


To serve, remove the spile from the shive. Put the spile back between sessions (e.g overnight). Pour away the first 1/2 pint (this beer will have sat in the tap and not be at its best).

Pour yourself a pint. Drink. Enjoy. Repeat as necessary!