#barleywine Archives – PorchDrinking.com
It is so difficult to address the true outcome of a beer so heavily shrouded by hype. It’s no secret to the craft beer community that Side Project Brewing boasts one of, if not the best, barrel programs in the world. Even the likes of M.J.K., a beer representing the culmination of their barleywine production, finds itself constantly under scrutiny, for the most part by those who will never actually have a chance to try it themselves. Again provided with an incredibly rare opportunity to open yet another La Coterie exclusive bottle, M.J.K. was one in particular that needed a showcase.
It’s crazy to think that we’re down to just one more Revolution Brewing Deep Wood release in January, after the third set of beers came out a couple of weeks ago.
Every year, in a sea of highly touted barrel-aged releases, Revolution’s Deep Wood series seemingly has one that will stand out amongst them all. Even though we’re only in the second of four releases, this year’s Straight Jacket might very well be the star this winter.
It seems as if Revolution Brewing’s Deep Wood release in July was a tease for the announcement of the full 2021-2022 lineup that happened less than a week later. In typical Revolution fashion, the releases will happen once a month staring in October and concluding in January.
When Revolution Brewing opens its doors to the public Friday to launch the latest batch of Deep Wood beers, it will be the first no-restrictions in-person beer release event in the city of Chicago since the pandemic began.
A staple of previous Revolution beer releases, the taproom party featured drafts of the beers being released as well as some rare and special drafts for people to try. Over the past year and a half, the brewery had to settle for curbside pick-ups as the pandemic restrictions remained in effect.
A drier, barrel-focused release is the theme in Revolution Brewing’s 4th Deep Wood release of 2020 with three different beer styles hitting cans this weekend.
With the last two releases featuring adjuncts like cherries, maple, and honey, the release of Mineshaft Gap, Ryeway to Heaven, and Double Barrel V.S.O.D. go quite a different direction in the December Deep Wood installment.
While the barrel-aged releases are dying down as we get closer to the end of the year, Chicago’s Revolution Brewing still has two more for their Deep Wood series and the third release (of four) happens this Friday at the taproom on Kedzie.
Before Revolution Brewing releases the next two entries in their highly vaunted Deep Wood series, they’ll already be able to boast a FoBAB gold medal for one of those two. Very Special Old Ryeway (V.S.O.R.) and Straight Jacket will be released at the brewery after V.S.O.R. earned top marks in the Other Strong Dark Beer Category at this weekends Festival of Barrel-Aged Beers.
It has been a busy summer for Revolution Brewing. Between their Midlife Crisis barrel-aged release and the hyped-up IPA collaboration with Hop Butcher coming later this week, Chicago’s largest independent brewer has made headlines during the hotter months. That being said, year three of Revolution’s acclaimed Deep Wood barrel-aged series is set to generate buzz among the beer-drinking community for the upcoming colder months thanks to its consistent release of new and old canned barrel-aged creations from October to January. The 2019-2020 roster includes five returning favorites and five new creations, all available in 4-packs of 12oz cans. Here is what you need to know.
Hot or cold, Revolution Brewing sure knows how to throw a release party. Hundreds of barrel-aged fanatics, myself included, made their seasonal pilgrimage to Revolutionâ€™s Kedzie taproom for the latest Deep Wood release. This series has quickly grown to national acclaim thanks to its bold portfolio of Barleywines, Barrel-Aged Stouts and adventurously-boozy experiments like last yearâ€™s Code Switch, a Barrel-Aged Imperial Ale made with blackberries.
Many people associate Deep Wood beers with huge parkas, plunging temperatures and bitter Chicago winters given its annual winter release cadence. Boozy beers that push ABV limits typically go well with sub-zero winter nights. But Revolutionâ€™s Midlife Crisis Barleywine release had none of the expected barrel-aged beer release trimmings. Coats were swapped for tanktops, boots for flip flops, and freezing temps for 100 degrees and brutal humidity.Â
Big Stouts and Barleywines are typically released in the fall and winter. The cold and sometimes downright freezing temperatures create a perfect atmosphere to drink beers that are more than 12% ABV. So naturally, when Revolution Brewing announced that two big English Barleywines are getting released in mid-July, it turned heads.
Schlafly is releasing a Barrel Aged Barleywine, the last “From The Ibex Cellar” series of 2018. The Schlafly Ibex Cellar series is one for which I’ve grown antiquated since my first visit to the Ibex Cellar in 2017, located beneath the historic Schlafly taproom in downtown St. Louis with friend and local brewing legend, Stephen Hale.
We’re finally feeling the weather changes here in Northern California. It’s beautiful, and my favorite time of the year. Not only because of the crisp air, but because it’s now barleywine season. Don’t get me wrong, I can drink barleywine anytime of the year; however, it’s difficult to find someone to crush the strong stuff with in the middle of summer.
I attended the 25th annual barleywine festival at Toronado in San Francisco a few weeks ago. 50 taps flowing, sweaty bodies crowding the bar, and the smell of future hangovers filled the room; I was in heaven. Soon I was sampling with other malt enthusiasts. A ton of great and not-so-great examples of the sweet stuff were tried, but one was particularly delightful.
After last year’s strong Deep Wood series, Revolution Brewing in Chicago announced 10 beers in the series for 2018-19. The first two, VSOJ (Very Special Old [Straight] Jacket) and Code Switch, were released Friday and the brewery has picked up right where they left off last year.
MadTree Brewing is a major player in the Ohio beer scene, and among the largest breweries in Cincinnati’s thriving craft market. The company built a new production brewery in early 2017, and have grown rapidly, but sustainably in the half decade since their founding. Their quirky but smart beer portfolio and attractive packaging are now available all around Ohio, as well as some areas of Indiana and Kentucky.
In Chicago, in November, it’s almost impossible to not run into a great barrel-aged beer. Begyle Brewing will release two of its own starting on Friday (Nov 17) and both are worthy of standing in line to get. Barrel-Aged Imperial Pajamas will be released on Nov 17th, with Batch 500 being released the following Friday.
I remember being forced to read Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities in high school. To explain the tome’s epic verbosity, I subscribe to the myth that Charlie was paid by the word and have been permanently scarred by the experience. I mention Dickens because he would likely have been an inspiration to the British poet for whom this beer is named – Thomas Hardy. Hardy was a writer of world-renown but unfortunately, thanks to his compatriot’s writing style, there’s zero chance of me putting down Stephen King to pick up Jude the Obscure anytime soon. His namesake brew however, Thomas Hardy’s Ale, that’s a different story.
Like many a Pirate’s doomed lusts for treasure, I’ve frequently attempted (and failed) to get my hands on Black Lotus Brewing Ninja Pirate to review it for the PorchDrinking.com audience. Winning a gold medal for best strong ale at the World Beer Cup tends to bring some competition for the bottles.
My first attempt, a week and a half after its release, failed because the beer was sold out. In my second attempt to procure a bottle of Ninja Pirate, a mere two days after the beer release, I was at least laughed at by head brewer Nick Joseph. It took one more failure before I finally got my hands on a bottle and subsequently found time to share the pride of Clawson, MI with you all. Trust me; Ninja Pirate is worth the wait.
I’ll be real honest with everyone, I don’t know much about basketball. I do, however, appreciate the fanfare and competitiveness of March Madness. I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve heard of people describing, in depth, how well their bracket was doing or how it became “busted.” If I had created a bracket, mine would most definitely rank last.