Come Taste Some of Blue Mountain’s Barrel House Beers at Blue 5 Tomorrow Night!
One of the most popular trends among craft breweries is to barrel age their beer. Breweries typically choose previously used bourbon or whiskey barrels to age their beer in, which imparts additional flavors to the beer over the aging process. Recently, Virginia’s own Blue Mountain Brewery in Afton opened their Blue Mountain Barrel House, their first production “arm” of the brewery. According to the website, six of the twelve beers the Barrel House will produce from time to time will be aged in such white oak barrels the brewery has acquired from four different bourbon distilleries. Tomorrow, at Blue 5 Restaurant in downtown Roanoke, at least a couple of these beers will be available for tasting as the brewery continues to kick off their new project.
Barrel aging beers causes them to acquire some of the flavors of both the charred wood of the barrel and the flavors of the bourbon itself which was previously stored in the barrels to add additional complexity to the beer. Most of the time, darker beers such as stouts and porters are aged in these barrels, and the effect these flavors have on the beer can range from being slight to quite noticeable. When the rich, deep flavors these beers naturally have are perfectly matched and balanced with the flavors the barrels give, that of bourbon, vanilla, and the charred wood itself, the end product can be a particularly amazing tasting experience.
Among the beers currently being crafted are a barrel aged edition of their Dark Hollow stout and a porter, infused with cocoa nibs and orange peel, called Isabel. Another is their “Local Species” ale, a “Belgian Inspired” pale ale hopped with American variety hops, and also aged in barrels. Among the non barrel aged beers are a wheat beer and a pilsner.
At Blue 5 tomorrow night, some of the other brewery’s non barrel aged beers, like their flagship pale ale Full Nelson and their altbier Evan Altmighty will be available, but the barrel aged beers ought to take center stage, giving those beer curious folks who haven’t tried many barrel aged beers yet a chance to familiarize themselves with what such treatment can do to already delicious beer!