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barrel-aged beers archive

Loaded to the barrels

Fans of barrel-aged beers have plenty to look forward to over the coming week, with events at Pints on Thursday, Steady Flow on Saturday and Beerocracy on Monday:

– Eight offerings from Twelve String will pour Thursday from 5 to 10 at Pints Alehouse.

For stouts, there’s the Heavenly Black Fog imperial stout from Heaven Hill bourbon barrels and Bourbon de Cocoa chocolate imperial stout from Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels, plus the new anniversary Volume 6 tequila barrel imperial stout. Also look for the Red Heaven imperial stout/imperial IPA blend and an Alternate Tuning sour imperial IPA.

Rounding things out are the Volume 4 anniversary barleywine aged in Woodinville Whiskey barrels, and the Belgian-accented Ardennes the Menace dark strong (also from Woodinville barrels) and Gin Fusion Confusion gin barrel golden strong.

– Steady Flow Growler House’s Barrel Aged Cornucopia, on Saturday from 4 to 7, will feature no fewer than 16 wood-conditioned creations:

• Deschutes’ bourbon barrel-aged Black Butte XXVII anniversary imperial porter, with cocoa nibs, pomegranate molasses and apricot puree.

• Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron wood-aged imperial brown.

• Epic’s Big Bad Baptist, with coffee beans and cocoa nibs, plus the Double Barrel version with barrel-aged beans.

• Firestone Walker’s bourbon barrel-aged Velvet Merkin oatmeal stout and Pacific Gravity Weizenbock.

• Stone’s bourbon barrel W00tstout with pecans, wheat and flaked rye.

• Georgetown’s bourbon barrel-aged Chopper’s Imperial Red.

• Ballast Point Barmy imperial golden with apricots and orange blossom honey.

• Fremont’s bourbon barrel-aged Dark Star imperial oatmeal stout.

• Iron Goat’s Dry Fly bourbon barrel-aged Cap’n Kidd Scotch ale.

• Twelve String’s rum barrel-aged Imperial Coconut Porter.

• Waddell’s French oak-aged Blackberry Sour.

• Grand Teton’s whiskey barrel-aged Black Cauldron imperial stout.

• Crux Banished Wild Farmhouse sour aged in red wine barrels.

• 2 Towns Ciderhouse’s La Mure sour Lambic-style cider aged in pinot noir barrels with Oregon-grown Marion blackberries.

There also will be merchandise raffles during the event. The beers will be tapped at noon, and will continue to pour on Sunday as available.

– Finally, Beerocracy is featuring some two dozen offerings for its Barrel-Palooza on Monday. Look for the likes of :

• Deschutes' 2016 and 2017 Abyss imperial stout, plus this year's rum and tequila barrel variants.

• Deschutes’ bourbon barrel-aged Black Butte XXIX anniversary imperial porter with turbinado sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon and cayenne.

• Fremont's 2016 and 2017 bourbon barrel-aged Dark Star imperial stout, plus this year's coffee and Spice Wars versions.

• This year's regular and coffee cinnamon B-Bomb winter ale from Fremont.

• Fremont's 2017 Rusty Nail bourbon barrel-aged imperial oatmeal stout with licorice and cinnamon bark.

• Crux’s 2017 bourbon barrel-aged Tough Love imperial stout with blackstrap molasses and spices, plus 2016 and 2017 Better Off Red wine barrel-aged Flanders-style red.

• Firestone Walker's 2016 and 2017 Krieky Bones cherry sour and 2016 Pacific Gravity Weizenbock.

• Two Beers' Overhang bourbon imperial porter.

• Georgetown’s bourbon barrel-aged Chopper’s Imperial Red.

• Avery's Amicitia sour aged in cabernet sauvignon barrels.

Roll out the Bombastic barrels

Bombastic is broadening its game with a new membership plan to fund a barrel-aged beer program, and the launch of limited draft distribution.

Since opening in June, the Hayden-based brewery has poured beer for special events and released a series of limited bottlings.

Now it’s taking signups for Bombastic Benefactors. For $150, members will receive eight exclusive bottles of barrel-aged beers – the likes of big stouts and barleywines aged in bourbon, rum, brandy and other barrels.

They also will get first dibs on regular bottle releases next year, access to exclusive growler fills, discounts on standard fills and a Bombastic Benefactors T-shirt.

Since the plan was announced last Friday, signups have already reached more than 20 percent of the minimum number needed to launch the program, says Bombastic’s Phil Hottenstein. The deadline is Dec. 31.

“These are the beers (head brewer) Matt (Skillicorn) and I really want to do. It’s the stuff we love to drink,” he says. “But they’re expensive to make.”

The membership pricing is designed to be a bargain while still providing enough money to support the plans, Hottenstein says.  “We just want to make these beers,” he says.

If it all comes to pass, members will receive their bottles at a release party sometime toward the end of next year.

In the meantime, more Bombastic beers will start showing up around North Idaho. Bombastic recently tripled the size of its brewing system – to a still modest 1.5 barrels (45 gallons), with enough fermenters for double-batching – allowing it to start selling smaller kegs to local bars and restaurants.

So far, in Coeur d’Alene, Paddy’s Sports Bar has the Murder imperial stout (brewed with cinnamon, vanilla, cocoa nibs, ancho chilies and cayenne), Mango Wisdom IPA is on the way to Bulldog Pipe and Cigar, and Victory Sports Hall/Crafted Tap House just received the Mango Wisdom, Sleuth porter and the plum and cherry Dazzle witbiers.

Enoteca in Post Falls, where Bombastic has staged several release events, also has the Murder, blood orange Dazzle and an experimental IPA.

The initial placements are laying the groundwork for what Bombastic hopes will grow into wider-scale distribution through contract brewing. Once there’s enough demand, it plans to pay other area breweries to use their excess brewing capacity to make bigger batches of more mainstream beers.

Specialty beers, like the Murder series – so far, there’s also been Attempted Murder (with only the cinnamon and vanilla) and Aggravated Murder (with maple syrup and cold press coffee) – will continue to be brewed in smaller quantities on the in-house system, with bottles released for sale online.

Like the membership program, special bottle releases are more common to breweries in bigger markets but less familiar around here, Hottenstein says. But customers are catching on to the idea, he says, and have enjoyed coming to the brewery on designated days to pick up their bottles, drink some beer and hang out.

“We have a lot of repeat customers,” he says. “They’re liking it, and getting excited about it.”