I think barrel-aging is a wonderful thing and I think that smaller brewers that want to mess with that…it’s an unplowed furrow. But I don’t need to plow every furrow. If somebody else is pioneering that stuff and making skills around it, what do I want to fill into their market for?
Times, they are a-changin’.
Lagunitas revealed in early January that it had taken in 130 emptied whiskey barrels from High West Distillery with the intention of filling as many as they could with Cappuccino Stout. They ended up filling 122 of them with that beer.
When asked if this meant that a barrel-aged version of the beer could hit bottles, a rep replied,”Barrel Aged Cappuccino Stout in bottles would be nice, but is not guaranteed. [They will spend] At least six months of aging before we start to see the first blend.”
We should have a better idea on plans come this summer.
This isn’t to imply that barrel-aging is entirely new for Lagunitas but it looks like the brewers are playing more with them now than they ever have before.
For example, the brewery posted on Valentine’s Day that Pinot Barrel Aged WTF would be available soon at the brewery TapRoom but “only 93 gallons of this rare treat.”
In late December, Lagunitas released Doppelomyces, “124 gallons of brandy barrel aged doppelfunk,” on tap.
The brewery has even aged Cappuccino Stout in bourbon barrels before…for 18 months.
And speaking of WTF, aka Wilco Tango Foxtrot, the beer returned on the brew calendar on January 20th so look for bottles out on shelves soon. Lagunitas bills at as a “malty, robust jobless recovery ale.”
“We planned to release the 2010 Recovery Ale as a follow-up to our 2009 Correction Ale, but we weren’t quite recovering….WTF! So we tried to label it the Whiskey Tango Foxtrot to abide by Army call-letters, but we were told that we couldn’t use the word ‘Whiskey’ on a beer label…WTF!”