A while back, we got our hands on something unusual... a freshly emptied gin barrel. I for one, don't usually think of aging gin in oak, but I suppose I'm not always of the same mind as our pals down at Wigle Whiskey, who know a good idea when they have one.
This barrel was no stranger to us; we'd filled it with Gratitude Barleywine about a year prior. And back then, we called it a "bourbon barrel". So without getting all existential about whether this is a gin barrel or a bourbon barrel now - or for that matter a barleywine barrel, lets just say that it's been around. And in these travels, it has picked up quite a bit of character... character that we really wanted to bring to a beer!
We decided that the best way to bring out the subtle nuances of this particular assembled collection of oak staves, heads, steel hoops, and everything that's ever been inside it, was to fill it with a more subtle, nuanced beer... our Monkey Boy Hefeweizen. The botanicals from the gin plus the esters from the hefeweizen... it's a combination that's kind of hard to imagine. But luckily, we don't have to imagine it any more. We can drink it now. Or at least soon.
We'll be tapping a 5 gallon keg of this beer, along with a bunch of our other barrel aged beers (see list below) at the GOOD WOOD Fest, here at EEBC tomorrow night. If you're coming to GOOD WOOD, we'll have ALL of these beers available for purchase to go in Growlers and Crowlers starting promptly when the fest ends at 9pm. Maybe even a few BBA Bottles we've had stashed away too.
If you're not coming to the GOOD WOOD Fest (sorry, it is completely sold out), on Friday January 27 at 4pm we'll be putting the Gin Barrel MonkeyBoy on tap at the Brewery for tasters, pints, and yes, Crowlers. (No Growlers of this one. Barrel yields are notoriously poor, and there's just the one, so there really isn't very much of it to go around.)
And in the weeks to come, you'll see more of the beers from this GoodWood lineup released, just as soon as we can dial in a plan for them.