BrewProf: A Closer Look at the Barrel Aged Beer Bash

Jungle Jim’s will be hosting the 2014 iteration of their barrel aged beer festival  on Jan. 17. Beginner, adventurous, and serious craft beer drinkers should take note for a variety of reasons.

Generally, barrel aged beers are created when a standard, fermented, beer is poured into a wooden barrel that was previously used to age spirits or wine. It is allowed to sit for some time in a variety of temperatures so that the wood may naturally expand and contract.

This process naturally soaks the beer into the wood to pass those flavor and aroma characteristics. Likewise, it will also express some the previously held spirits or wine. This combination of forces allows the beer to take on an entirely different set of flavors and complexity.

Sometimes, souring strains of yeast are also added to the barrels to give yet another twist to the flavor profile.

Barrels used run the spectrum of spirits with some of the most popular being bourbon, whiskey, rum, and gin. Similarly, you will find lots of wine varieties with Chardonnay barrels often used.  The beer that goes into the barrels is often a stout, porter, barleywine or strong Belgian.  Although many brewers now apply a barrel treatment to golden ales, IPAs, fruit beers when souring.

The festival has already lined up a very impressive list of over 30 beers with the possibility of adding a few more.

Rhinegeist recently added one more to the list with their Panther porter aged in a Hendry Zinfandel barrel. MadTree, is already on the list with their barrel aged Axis Mundi – a VERY tasty bourbon barrel aged Russian imperial stout.

Rivertown will be bringing an imperial amber ale aged in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels. Christian Moerlein is slated to bring its Christkindl aged in Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels.

There is sure to be something to please all palates at this festival!

Tickets may be purchased online for $35 ($15 designated driver).  See the Beer Events Calendar for event details .

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