Imagine Anchor Steam Beer or Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, an iconic beer. Then barrel it.
That is what Bell’s Brewery has done with Uberon, their twist on Oberon. “Uberon is a bourbon barrel-aged version of our iconic American Wheat Ale. It’s strong, spicy, warming… Uberon tastes like our classic American Wheat Ale with a shot of bourbon dropped into it.”
Hermosa Brewing has a lovely seaside adjacent taproom but they share space with R6 Distillery up in El Segundo and Hermosa is taking advantage of the nearby barrels. They are putting beer into “fresh oak barrels from their awesome line of craft whiskeys. Last year we took the first steps in our collaboration and planted the seed for our barrel aged beers.”
The first two stouts on Friday July 23rd at our El Segundo brewery.
Angel City has a new sour with a bit of a barrel twist, Fawns in the Farmhouse
Here are the interesting beer details: “We took a farmhouse saison and aged it in 2nd use Cognac barrels for 7 months to develop some sour and funky flavors with sour and wild yeast cultures. Then we crushed fresh Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from Twin Fawns Vineyard in San Miguel, CA and fermented the must and skins with Brett Lambicus and natural yeast on the grapes. Finally, we added the fermenting grapes to the farmhouse sour in barrels and let it age for another 5months.”
One of the more approachable barrel-aged beers that I have had in the past is the New Belgium Oakspire. That beer started back in 2018 and last year was reimagined as a cocktail beer, Oakspire Old Fashioned.
Now it is returning with a new barrel….
Spires are steeped in Four Roses bourbon to create an under 10% barrel-aged beer,
Freigest Bierkultur comes up with some excellent spins in German beer standards and they have collaborated on a couple new ones that caught my fancy…
This would be a cool tasting duo. Also, I like the DDH play on words too. Bet some hop head will buy it and get a snortful of elderflower.
Next up from The Bruery is the fabled White Chocolate…
This wheat wine pours a lovely orange color with nice white foam. I find it is better drunk a little warmer. Both velvet smooth and spiky with carbonation. Lovely spirit aroma to this. Mellow but easily evident. It is a nice interplay between bourbon and light chocolate notes. Sometimes simplicity is the best avenue. ABV is masked extremely efficiently. Zero burn.
The Bruery have a couple Tiki inspired beers out now and here are my thoughts on them….
Seahorse – right out of the gate, this beer is great. Big, juicy pineapple aroma and flavor. Super tropical. Light malt taste slides in for a second. Quite tart but that fades a notch not less acidic territory as it warms. The only minus is that the bourbon barrel character is missing as is the citrus for me. Those two added would have made for an even more complex sour.
Mai Zombie – pours an amber red color. Quite a multitude of ingredients here and boy is it almond dominated to me. The orange flower water adds a twist but the spices, lime and grapefruit are not to be found. Tastes a bit hot as well. Maybe dialed back in ABV would soften that edge. No sugary rum texture found either. More cocktail oriented.
The clear winner was Seahorse. Both beers could have delivered more of the flavors on the labels but the sour was more balanced and maybe the Zombie cocktail is not for me.
I have seen a trickle of Barrel-aged Belgian beers pop up on the interwebs. Not yet seen any in the markets. And the latest to pique my interest comes from Delirium, better known as the strong pink elephant beer. Here is to hoping that they will continue to utilize different barrels.
Surfridge Brewing In El Segundo is one of many breweries who lost an anniversary due to Covid. But if you hop on it, you can get a bottled celebration with a barrel-aged oatmeal stout. Get your online ordering on.
Rhubarb is not often thrown into the mix but if the Beachwood Blendery is doing it, then expect it to really shine. A choice selection of their aging beer was exposed to the rhubarb and then that was mixed with an apricot flavored beer for the final product. Releases today!