Customer Spotlight: Anyone Know What a Firkin is?

Firkin barrel filled with beer One customer inquired about a laser labeling solution for the tap handles at his upscale saloon—which in turn is “provisioned” by his specialty microbrewery. Although he had tried various other products, the labels kept falling off from the curved surface of the tap handles and from exposure to his . . . well . . . to his India Pale Ale brew. We recommended testing the efficacy of several of our unique laser materials against the potency of his malt-and-hops concoctions. Testing included a water-resistant laser label, a cold-temperature laser label, an attractive “pearlescent” paper laser label (hey, he wanted his taps to look good!), a durable polyester laser label and a conformable vinyl product with excellent shear resistance. The vinyl product was his material of choice for these wood barrel labels. No coincidence then that it turns out the specifications for the vinyl product include good resistance to common cleaning solutions, alcohol, ammonia, water and humidity.

It was “Fat Tuesday” (or Mardi Gras) when he called up to place his order. We naturally inquired whether he was planning any special events at his saloon for Mardi Gras—the night of eating richer, fatty foods and drinking copious amounts of alcohol before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season that started the next day (Ash Wednesday). The owner laughed with delight. He was hosting a bash called “Fat Firkin Tuesday” for all his beer aficionados. He explained that a firkin is an antique wooden container with metal staves used for cask ale. A firkin is equal to nine imperial gallons, seventy-two pints, or a quarter of a barrel. That’s a lot of ale to imbibe!

Hmmmm . . . a rough and highly textured wooden surface stored at cold temperatures. You guessed it! We have wood barrel labels suitable for that application, too!