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Battle of the Barrels

Battle of the Barrels



Home Office
Thursday April 29th, 2010


Remember when beer was just beer? Water, hops, barley, and yeast... brew it, put it in a can or bottle, and call it a day. Crowd pleasers yes, but what for the aspiring microbiologists and big beer fanatics? As said earlier, "WHEN beer was just beer.." Today there seems to be an endless list of brewing processes that range anywhere from using the dreaded (in the wine world) Brettanomyces yeast and prolonged barrel aging, to open fermentation to allow natural yeasts flowing in the air to effect the end flavor of the beer. And thanks to the crafty John's over at Rogue Brewing Co and the Rogue Distillery, they've decided to give the craft world such gifts as John John Dead Guy Ale: Rogue's groundbreaking Dead Guy Mai bock Aged in the very Oak Barrels that the Rogue Dead Guy Whiskey matured in: so basically beer, whiskey made from beer recipe, then beer aged in whiskey barrels which held whiskey made from beer recipe... Some use descriptors such as "yuck" and "tastes like engine oil" when referring to these high alcohol, costly, and often time-consuming brews, but as the Craft-Brewing industry continues to grow and spark interest in palates used to "simpler" beers you have to admit it's pretty impressive. The groundbreaking breweries for such unique/complex brews (such as Dogfish Head, Avery, Allagash, Three Floyd's, etc...) continue to push the envelope while small brew pubs all over town seem to have something "fun" set aside aging in wine, bourbon, rum, sherry, and many other barrels once thought only for spirits and wine.

The next time you're in the mood for something new, grab one of the many barrel-aged beers and grab some heavier cheeses or pair it with dinner. Who knows what will be next in the beer industry but rest assured that somethings probably already out there, aging, waiting, and once it's bottled: who knows?

cheers,
Casey Capper


Posted by Mark Fetter on April 30th, 2010 | Permalink