The craft brewing industry is experiencing a great deal of growth and innovation every year. With several new craft breweries popping up all over south Florida and the rest of the world, it’s not surprising that new ideas are popping up. Barrel aging is not exactly new, but the variety of brews being created is growing fast! This creative thinking has led to microbreweries and craft brewing companies all over turning towards barrel aging processes. More specifically, turning to red wine barrels for their aging process.
Red wine barrels have certainly taken to the limelight in the craft brewing arena, lending a great twist of flavor to the many brews they are used to age. Some brewers prefer to steam their barrels in order to kill off the natural bacteria. This is done to avoid a sour beer result and to allow the beer to take on only the flavors of the previous wine and what little flavor is left to be taken from the wood of the barrel itself.
While the labeling of most brews simply denotes that the brew was aged in red wine barrels, some craft beer enthusiasts have shown disdain for this practice, as they want to know more about the barrels. This is evidenced in articles such as the one on Punch Drink. This shows that the people who love craft beer want to know what is used, where it is from, and how it was aged so that they might further understand the flavor.
The desire to use red wine barrels is understandable, considering the hundreds of wines on the market. When you add in the variety of ports and others, the number is simply unbelievable and it’s no surprise that craft beer aficionados would want to know more. After all, who wouldn’t want to know whether their brew was aged in Merlot, or Carmenere, or even a luscious port?
The point of aging in red wine barrels is to create a vivid flavor and the widest variety of brews possible. Using wine barrels creates that opportunity for craft brewmasters and we’re certainly glad to work with vineyards to obtain red wine barrels to age our brews.