Beers to brew and the craft barrels to age them in
Do you want to take your craft to the next level? Then give barrel-aging a try!
Our beer-brewing barrels are made with 100% Hungarian oak and come medium-toasted, but are also available (by special order) in light or heavy toast. We use Hungarian oak due to its tight grain and because of its distinct flavour characteristics and spicy profile. Hungary is world-famous for its high altitude and volcanic soils that help create a profile we love in oak.
Home brewers who want to take their craft to the next level should give barrel-aging a try. Barrels are more readily available to home brewers than ever before, and that means you can now experiment by doing the secondary cure with any of these varieties: rum, bourbon, rye whiskey, wine, sherry, and even tequila.
Here are list of successful batches we’ve tried:
Age these in a wine barrel. Much like wine, saisons are complex beers that tend to be fruit-forward, spicy, or earthy. Used wine barrels can impart a broad range of beer flavors, from tannic oak and smooth caramel to dark fruit and toffee. Try aging or even try the Jazzy Beets in a white wine barrel — but try it soon so it’s ready for the holiday season.
Want to get a little wild? Cure some Espolon, either Appleton or Campari, in one of our barrels. In the summer we created a barrel-aged cocktail menu for the new Taproom 260 and it has been the talk of Orleans. We decided to experiment with the Espolon using the same framework as a margarita and topped it off with an IPA and to my surprise it was a huge success. Or try Aromatherapy — it packs a spicy, tropical hops characteristic with a balanced toasted oak flavor.
Amber Ale and Red Ale
Age these in a rye barrel. Red ales are commonly aged in bourbon barrels, but we’d make a case for rye. The spiciness of rye lends itself well to the rich caramel malt often found in red and amber ales. Try aging this in a rye barrel to add complexity to its already rich caramel and nutty flavors.
Age this in a rum barrel. The roastiness of rich porter makes it a perfect pairing for the sweetness and earthiness of rum barrels. Try brewing an imperial version of the Lost Kosmonaut now, then barrel-age it in a rum barrel to serve this fall.
Age this in a bourbon barrel. It’s no surprise the roasted coffee and chocolate flavours of stout and porter meld well with caramel, oak, and toffee flavours left in bourbon barrels. Try The Bottle Imp for your next bourbon-barrel experiment. Beer & Brewing Magazine put it this way: “Named for Alexander I, Tsar of Russia (1801-1825), this massive imperial stout was designed for barrel aging.” … adding that “the high alcohol aids in extracting the full flavour from the barrel, while the high IBUs help balance the boozy sweetness contributed by the bourbon barrel and final high gravity.” Sounds good to us.