#BarrelAged Archives – PorchDrinking.com
January is often a popular month for craft beer drinkers to take some time off from the “hobby.” It’s important to be able to do so and to drink in amounts where you’re comfortable. We recently offered 30 Reasons Why You Should Skip Dry January in 2021, but if you are taking the time completely off, you can still help your local breweries.
We’re back and well-rested, yet somehow exhausted, from all of the holiday hustle and bustle and time commitments. While 2020 is officially behind us — good riddance — 2021 isn’t exactly off to the best start it could be. In spite of weather and events on the national stage, the beer industry is still staying afloat despite pandemic shutdowns. That does not mean everyone, and that does not mean thriving. Dry January is popular for many “influencers” and eager resolution starters, but do what you can to continue supporting local. Buy shirts, hats and other merch or gift cards to use at a later date. Grab a beer or browse some online shops while checking out What We’re Drinking.
Bounty Hunters may like to consume more than Blue Milk. It’s also possible they enjoy some mystical ale fermented on Endor with its unique natural yeast and microbiota that must add a unique flavor to the ale not seen on planet Earth. The Bounty Hunters fill Star Wars lore and their stories have given us fantasy and fascination with the likes of characters such as the Mandalorian. Freelance Bounty Hunters must enjoy our planet’s exquisite craft beer on special occasions (never when piloting their aircraft!) and this is what we have chosen based on their backgrounds and personality. For the uneventful weekday an easy-drinking Lager, such as the Big Yellow Truck by Territorial Brewing, might commonly be found in the bounty hunter ships in the beer fridge or cooler.
In a saturated Denver craft beer market, Crooked Stave has managed to remain a standout brand for a decade. They’ve recently chosen to move out of the River North Art District and return to their brewing roots in the up-and-coming Sunnyside neighborhood with a recently refreshed taproom. They also recently added a satellite location about an hour outside of Denver up the road in Fort Collins.
Some people call this magical time of year the holiday season. People who read this website probably know it more as Stout Season. But at Epic Brewing, it’s Baptist Season. And this year, they went big.
Epic Brewing, originating in Utah, is famous for being the state’s first brewery since prohibition to solely brew beer with a “high” alcohol content. Now, in Utah, that means something different than you’re probably thinking: Back in 2009 when Epic was founded, the Beehive State considered any beer above 4.0% ABV to be a “strong brew” and restricted those sales to state-run liquor stores (they’ve now increased that maximum up to 5.0%, those daredevils). But Epic Brewing didn’t just make strong beer by Utah standards; like most kids with strict parents, they rebelled and started making strong beer. Thus, in 2011, their Big Bad Baptist series was born: A Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout with coffee that was such a hit, the brewery turned it into an annual tradition and introduces new variants each year during Baptist Season.
In an industry which has been largely built around the search for the new and exciting, it can be refreshing to revisit some of the beers and breweries which blazed the trails for the modern day. Foothills Brewing, based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is a perfect example not only of one of these foundational companies, but also of one which has done an amazing job of staying relevant and responsive to the modern craft beer drinker. Perhaps none of their brews illustrates this better than their Coffee Infused Bourbon Barrel-Aged Sexual Chocolate, one of the state’s most anticipated yearly releases.
We all remember the first time we waited in an exceptionally long line for an exceptionally small pour of a notable beer. On a sunny SoCal day in May 2015, at The Bruery’s 7th Anniversary party, a beer from local upstart Bottle Logic Brewing named Fundamental Observation showed up like Lindsay Lohan as the new queen bee of The Plastics. An explosion of vanilla followed by the soft cuddle of high-end bourbon barrels, this beer was a delicious needle in the four hours of unlimited tastings haystack. With the next public release of this beer came a block-spanning line, providing a delicious 8oz reward for an hour of your time, and the first memory of waiting in extended anticipation for a single draught of excellence.
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.
Barrel, chocolate, marshmallow all packaged up in Off Color Brewing’s notable 250ml bottles — it’s Barrel-Aged Dino S’mores season, and this year’s version is not to miss.
The popular Russian Imperial Stout comes in a non-barrel-aged version and typically a couple of variants as well as the barrel-aged version. This year’s BA beer spent 13 months sitting in Wild Turkey 101 bourbon barrels and the beer took to the barrel like a fish to water.
Whether it’s that fourth cookie, bonus day of vacation or third barrel-aged beer of the night, life is too short to not indulge every once in a while. This time of year always seems to bring more chaos. Luckily, Decatur, GA’s Three Taverns Brewery has the perfect beer to slow you down during this indulgent holiday season.
No, it is not a pastry-loaded adjunct Stout. It’s not a hopped-to-the-brim Triple IPA, either. What is it? It’s Heavy Bell (2020)–a Belgian Quadrupel Ale aged in bourbon barrels.
Heavy Bell (2020) takes indulgence to a new level as it expands on the base recipe of Quasimodo, a 10% Belgian-style Quadrupel, and ages it on eight-year-old bourbon barrels.
Each year, Chicago’s Cruz Blanca continues to get bolder with its barrel-aged series, Luchador. In 2019 the brewery released six different variants and in 2020 upped that number to eight different masked bottles that will be released this Saturday.
As the temperatures dip and the days get shorter, barrel-aged season in Chicago continues to ramp up. This weekend, Revolution Brewing will host the second of four releases in their Deep Wood series. A trio of beers highlights this release with two familiar names and a new one to the series.
Located in Seattle, Washington, Fremont Brewing first opened its doors during the 2008 financial crisis and is no stranger to making high-quality beer in the middle of a recession. Quality, sustainability and ingenuity have been the mainstays of brewing at Fremont over the past 11 years, a tradition they continue even as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on… and “ingenious” is the word that comes to mind when sampling their latest release: the 11th Anniversary series. These two Stouts debuted in mid-August and are already sold out on their website (but don’t worry: limited cases are still available—see below for details). Their classic barrel-aging process, with a twist, makes these beers something special.
Next month will officially kickoff Revolution Brewing’s 2020-21 Deep Wood series as the brewery prepares to release a dozen barrel-aged beers between September and January.
On Thursday, the Illinois Craft Brewer’s Guild announced that their annual Festival of Barrel and Wood Aged Beer (FoBAB) will be among the many festivals to get cancelled because of the global pandemic. This news coincides with the cancellation of the 2021 Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines festival held in Breckenridge, Colorado. The ICBG mentioned in their official announcement that the annual competition and awards ceremony would still be taking place virtually. Participating breweries will be asked to send their competition beers to FoBAB where they will be judged by 50 industry leaders and certified craft beer judges.
Green Mountain Beer Company approaches traditional beer styles with a little creativity and flair. As their motto says, they focus on “Old World Brews with Colorado Soul.” While Green Mountain offers newer styles of beer, including their very popular Kama Citra IPA, the focus on traditional German and Belgian styles like Hefeweizen, Pilsner, Tripel and Saison is where Brian Milhaupt and Cassidy Hill, co-founders of Green Mountain Beer Company, find their passion and vision.
With what seems like a never-ending supply of new exciting beers coming out these days, it’s not uncommon to see a beer that was a whale just six or seven years ago now sitting on the shelf collecting dust. So when you come across a beer that has been able to generate the same high level of enthusiasm from ever-fickle craft beer fans AND sells out immediately year after year, you know you have discovered something truly exceptional. The Bruery’s Black Tuesday Imperial Stout is such a beer.
First released over a decade ago, in 2009, Black Tuesday continues to enjoy a near cult-like following in many craft beer circles. It is currently ranked 17th on Beer Advocate’s list of best American Imperial Stouts and 62nd for all around best beer.
As Popeye the Sailor man would exclaim, “Well blow me down!” 1840 Brewing continues to make amazing beer in Milwaukee, and their Shelter in Case—a Belgian-inspired Saison fermented and aged in wine barrels—is no exception. Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated.
Father, Dad, Pops, whatever you call your fatherly paternal figure in your life, means you will probably be planning gifts or plans for this Sunday the 21st. This year will be the 110th iteration of the holiday that started in 1910 in Spokane, Washington, and it’s going just as strong as ever. For the craft beer crowd, there can be no better gift than sharing the beers you have fallen in love with. Here are some specially picked our for the father figure in your life.