Winter seems to be wanting to hang on with its cold, dead fingers as tightly as it can, so it only makes sense that we want to find brews that help to burn off the cold and make us think of warmer, better times of the year. For example, a bottle of Dirty Bastard is great for warming up round a fire or just sitting on the porch watching the sunset. Barrel aged beer is a great way to do these things and we’re all for grabbing a great brew, gathering with friends, and chasing away the winter cold together while discussing the craft beers you enjoy.
Barrel aged brews often take on the “burn” of the hard alcohol that formerly resided within the barrels they are aged in. This creates a “hotter” craft beer that you can say has been kicked up a notch. The process also has a trend of mellowing out the bitterness of the hops, a trait that has made these types of brews highly popular in the craft beer community. Craft brewers all over the United States have been trying their hand at barrel aging with a variety of different types of barrels to see exactly what they can come up with to fill the ever-growing demand for these brews.
Breweries like Founders Brewing Company have brought forth barrel aged beer that really kicks the cold off of the day or night. Brews like Backwoods Bastard, Dirty Bastard, and more are great examples of how lovely a barrel aged beer can be on a cold evening around a fire with friends. In fact, they make a great conversation topic for those nights and you just might find that your fellow craft beer aficionados have plenty of suggestions for other brews to try as well.
If you’ve never tried a barrel aged beer before, now would be a great time to do so. Although we don’t really have many cold nights here in West Palm Beach, Florida, we realize that many parts of the United States are still fighting off old man Winter and hoping to see his back soon. These brews are a great excuse to gather up friends and family and share stories and memories of days gone by while discussing some of the awesome brews you’ve found during your journeys.
While barrel aging does have a risk of creating a sour beer, the risk is minimal. Most barrel aged brews are aged in bourbon barrels or those that have housed other hard liquors. By design, these barrels tend not to carry the bacterium that other barrels hold, as most bacteria cannot survive the hard alcohol in the barrel. Fresh bourbon barrels are preferred by most breweries and are considered perfect for aging some of their awesome barrel aged beer.
Another great feature of these craft beers is the fact that they tend to age well in the bottle! They often mellow over time and even a simple aging of one week can alter the flavor and aroma profiles of the beer within. This makes each 4-pack or 6-pack quite interesting, as you can age the rest of the bottles and see how the brew changes over time. Who knows, you might find that your favorite brew gets even better after aging for a couple of weeks or even longer with some brews!
Enjoy these last weeks of winter while you can. With so many barrel aged beers out on the market, we’re sure you have plenty to try out with your friends and family before Spring starts to pop up. Give winter a great “finish” by grabbing some different barrel aged beer labels and arrange a few weekend get-togethers before the cold is gone for another few seasons.
Make sure to check back with us over the coming weeks as we feature the many brews that are starting to pop up in the Spring styles, as well as the wintery brews that might pop up last minute. Don’t hesitate to leave us a comment about any brews you’ve found. Perhaps they’ll become our next feature!
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