OUR BARREL AGING PROGRAMME.
What is the best thing to do during a lockdown, when there is nothing on your timetable and the brewery has plenty of capacity? When you have time for big ideas and to finally apply knowledge you've been gathering for a long while. You experiment. You brew thick, bold beers with extremely high gravity that really challenge the brewer and brewhouse. You research barrels from all over the world. Bourbon - for sure. Scottish single malts - oh yes. Nerdy Laphroaig and superb Rum from Barbados? Bring it on. Various sherries. Tequila. Mezcal. Marsala. Apricot brandy. Triple Sec. Expensive maple syrup barrels - fuck - yeah.
And that's exactly what we did in the winter of 20/21. Porters. Stouts. Imperial Reds. Wheat Wines. Barley Wines – up to 35° Plato. Double Mash. Malts from brewer's heaven - roasted Rye. Marris Otter. Belgian Abbey. Beechwood smoked. Peated Malt... Hallelujah! The stirrer groans. Lautering takes what feels like days. A lot of manual work, the brewhouse is at its limit. You sweat. You suffer. Some things work, some don't.
Then the barrels finally arrive - over 100 of them, a whole semitrailer full. We take the caps off. Sniffing at each barrel. Feelings of happiness. Absolute anticipation. Now it's time to prepare and fill the barrels. Even more anticipation.. A few liters of each brew go into a steel keg for back blending with the matured beer later.
A hard wait begins. Fierce trepidation, because a lot of money is at stake. Hardly control, we can do virtually nothing more than watch the humidity. And have patience.
We have developed various basic recipes in order to be able to optimally blend around 20 different barrel types with different flavour focuses. With a total of over 100 wooden barrels and different stages of maturation, we are able to achieve the desired flavour by blending different barrels, just like whisky. It's a fine art and we learn more with every beer. But your feedback so far has been MEGA, which means we're on the right track.
Here is an example from the field: For the "Nobody's Birthday" Imperial Stout, we decided to blend 2 bourbon barrels. We used 50% KENTUCKY BOURBON BARRELS aged for 28 months with Base Recipe A1 featuring English malts, and 50% MGP INDIANA BARRELS aged for 30 months with Base Recipe A2 featuring German malts.
The result is an ultra-thick, incredibly creamy beer with profound depth and complexity. Wood, bourbon, coffee, chocolate, dark caramel, and a hint of smoke—layered and enduring.
W H I S K E Y
Woodford Double Oak
S H E R R Y & P O R T W I N E
S P E C I A L S
R U M
T E Q U I L A & M E Z C A L
-Status 23 July 2022-