Barrel aging a beer can completely transmogrify a beer into something new and magical; it can also go horribly wrong. But planned and executed properly, a luscious imperial stout can take on rich new vanilla dimensions when aged in bourbon or rye whiskey barrels, or a saison can age and soak up fascinating fruity esters in chardonnay barrels. Success takes a lot of time and patience and more than a little technical wizardry and out-of-the-(um)-barrel thinking.
Bell’s Brewery brewers Mike and Patrick know this well and explain the entire process even better in the video above (even if that jazz score is a little much). After watching, read our barrel-aging Q&A with Side Project Brewing’s Cory King. Then, maybe learn how to properly insure your barrel-aging program. Then then, maybe pour over our barrel-aging Q&A with Saint Arnold founder Brock Wagner. After that, grab a beer. Then, get back to work discussing quality control with the barrel-aging experts at Innis & Gunn.