barrel Archives – PorchDrinking.com
Barrel-aged beers are known for big ABVs, bold flavors and brisk ingenuity. The near-constant release of Barleywines, Bourbon Barrel-aged Stouts and everything in-between draw consistent buzz and big purchases from beer lovers every fall and winter due to that warm, fuzzy feeling they can bring. That said, the current landscape of barrel-aged beers is daunting, challenging brewers to create new and bold beers that meet the ever-changing demands of their audience–what’s popular this season might be dull the next year. The current state of the barrel-aged beer industry in the United States is equal parts complex, curious and creative. To learn more, I polled more than 10 breweries known for their barrel-aged beer programs to get their perspective on the state of the industry and their likes and dislikes when it comes to barrel-aged beer.
When calendars turn to a new year, the barrel-aged beer craze tends to die down just a little with most of the breweries having already released their clean bourbon barrel-aged rarities to the public. With so many breweries now producing barrel-aged beers not just in the winter months, but year-round, where does this style go from here?
One night shortly after my mother-in-law moved to the small town of Greenfield, Indiana, I found myself itching to explore the area. I wasn’t expecting a whole lot in the way of craft beer, but I was pleasantly surprised.
As the days get shorter and the temperatures continue to drop, I continue to look to barrel-aged beers to make the winters bearable. When 2016 and 2017 Boathouse Reserve from Crystal Lake Brewing Company showed up on my front door I was excited to open them up.
As you rub your eyes and nurse that pounding headache, it’s time to reflect on another year of FoBAB. The nation’s largest gathering of barrel-aged beers is always the marquee event to hit Chicago’s beer scene. Once again, FoBAB lived up to the hype by bringing together some of the country’s most sought after beers and putting them under one roof for thousands to enjoy.
ABV: 9.9% | IBU: 33
Funky doesn’t begin to describe Odell Brewing Elephunk Imperial Wild IPA. This delicious boozy palette puncher is indeed a wild ride. It’s weird. It’s complex. It’s funky with a “p-h.” Yep, it’s PHunky.
I don’t mean to be dramatic, but I think they’ve named this beer wrong. With a name like, “Drama Queen”, you’d expect this 8.3% barrel-aged saison to be too boozy, quick to fly off the handle with overly pronounced flavors. No, she is far too balanced to be called a drama queen.
February has come to a close, and with it, a new playing field for craft beer. During NYC Beer Week, Shmaltz Brewing’s tasting event for their newly released Funky Jewbelation left me reminiscing of a flavor not easily forgotten. The name is certainly indicative of what awaits beneath the bottle cap.