Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Barrel Aged Beer Fest

By William Brand
Tuesday, December 13th, 2005 at 10:59 pm in Uncategorized.

I’ve spent far too many hours in the last month on a project at work (Oakland, CA Tribune) not related to beer. I’ve managed to do my column every other week in our Bay Area newspapers, but my blog’s suffered. Well – It’s a new day.

Catching up: Here’s a trend that’s going to be big in the craft beer world. On Nov. 12, 2005 in Chicago, Goose Island’s Wrigleyville brewpub hosted the second annual Wood and Barrel-Aged Beer Festival. It drew 70 beers from 31 states, alaska to Illinois to Louisiana.

Festival organizer Jeff Sparrow, in an e-mail announcing the results, said beer is aged with the intention of imparting the particularly unique character of wood and/or what has previously been in a barrel. “Ultimately, a balance of flavor, aroma and mouthfeel are sought with the marriage of beer, wood and/or barrel characteristics,” he said.

“The U. S. craft brewer has returned to one of the roots of brewing [wood] while still demonstrating creativity unmatched anywhere in the world,” Sparrow said.

A panel of brewers, writers and other brewing industry professionals judged the beers in eight categories:

A recycled, white oak,
55 gallon, Jack Daniels
whiskey barrel. For sale
at Rain Barrels And More

Champion Barrel-aged Beer

Goose Island, Imperial Brown Goose. Goose Island was among the first breweries to age a beer – Bourbon County Imperial Stout, fermented in a freshly used Bourbon barrel a decade ago.over 10 years ago.
Runner-up: New Holland Brewing, New Holland, MI – Barrel-aged Mad Hatter

Classic Porter/Stout

Gold: Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, Warrenville, IL – Argus Brown,
Silver: Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery, IL – Hi Beam Stout
Bronze: Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, Chicago, IL – Fourth Quarter Porter

Strong Porter/Stout

Gold: Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, Chicago, IL – Redline Imperial Bourbon Stout
Silver: Ram Restaurant & Bighorn Brewing, Wheeling, IL – Ice Breaker Imperial Stout
Bronze: America’s Brewing Company, IL – Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout

Barleywine

Gold: Onion Pub & Brewery, IL – Bourbon Big Game Barleywine
Silver: Big Sky Brewing, MT – Bourbon Barleywine
Bronze: Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, Cleveland, OH – Gukel’s Little Helper

Classic Styles

Gold: New Holland Brewing, MI – Barrel-aged Mad Hatter
Silver: Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, Chicago, IL – Bourbon Brown Beer
Bronze: Harpoon Brewery, MA – Harpoon Munich Dark

Strong/Double/Imperial Pale Beer

Gold: New Holland Brewing, MI – Barrel-aged Dole
Silver: Jolly Pumpkin Ales, MI – La Roja
Bronze: Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery – Ol’ Woody

Strong/Double/Imperial Dark Beer

Gold: Goose Island Beer Company, IL – Imperial Brown Goose
Silver: Glacier Brewhouse, AK – Beam Bock
Bronze: Goose Island Beer Company, IL – Goose Island Christmas

Experimental Beer

Gold: Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery, IL – Angry Mike’s Stoudt Kriek
Silver: Boston Beer Company, MA – Samuel Adams Utopias
Bronze: Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, Chicago, IL – Imperial Coffee Surprise

Wild Beer

Gold: Pizza Port, CA: Cuvee De Tomme
Silver: New Belgium Brewing, CO – La Terroir
Bronze: Bristol Brewing, CO – Skull & Bones Cuvee Speciale’

The Festival of Wood and Barrel-aged Beer is presented by the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild and sponsored by Brewers Supply Group and the Goose Island Beer Company with additional support from Briess Malt, Cargill Malt, Hopunion, Siebel Institute Of Technology, White Labs and the Chicago Beer Society. Information: Jeff Sparrow, jeff@illinoisbeer.com.

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