Editors' pick

Firkin Thursday

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Editorial Review

There's been a lot of talk about cask-conditioned beers lately, thanks to the presence of five casks pouring naturally carbonated ales at the new ChurchKey. (Try the Bells' Two-Hearted Ale on cask if you get the chance. It's a revelation compared to its bottled siblings.) One bar catching the wave of this revival is the Reef, which is bringing back its dormant Firkin Thursday events. The bar's kicking it off with a pair of interesting beers. One is Arcadia Starboard Stout from Michigan, which we've never tried, but reviewers at Beer Advocate and other beer sites talk about its chocolate and espresso flavors. The other one, and the real reason to go tonight, is Limb and Life, a collaboration between brewers Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head and Ken Grossman of Sierra Nevada. Fritz tried this lovely "small beer" at Pizzeria Paradiso a few weeks ago, when the only keg was tapped, and it's a hoppy dark-brown beer with a strong roasted grain flavor. (It's made from the mashed grains left over after brewing its 12-percent-alcohol sister beer, Life and Limb.) The firkins will be tapped at 5. They won't last all night.