Nuances of Barrel-aged Beer

Nuances of Barrel-aged Beer

Education, Ingredients, Beer 101

Here at Pure, we’re all about ingredients and we design our beers around them. Though you might not think it, we consider our barrels as ingredients as well. That’s because the nuances of a barrel equal nuances in your barrel-aged beer. And so, depending on the type of barrel we’re planning to use, we will design our beer to best suit that barrel.

We take many things into consideration when we select barrels for use. Here are just a couple of things to mull over:

  • Oak Barrels
    Oak classically adds vanillin and tannins. These help to balance the beer and promote head retention, which is why we like to use oak barrels.

  • American Oak vs French Oak
    American oak grows with a wide grain, allowing the beer and barrel to interact more during the aging process, whereas French oak grows with a tight grain so the flavors imparted by the barrel are more subtle.

  • Toasted Barrel vs Charred Barrel
    Wine barrels are toasted inside the barrel, adding notes of vanilla and caramel, while spirit barrels are charred, imparting more of a smoky flavor.

  • Micro-oxygenation
    Because wood is permeable, micro-oxygenation occurs with all oak barrels and has its function in both clean and sour beers. Micro-oxygenation slowly oxidizes “clean” beer, and promotes long-term fermentation in our mixed culture projects.

As you can see from just this brief list, there are many nuances to barrel-aged beer, and we consider each nuance to bring you the best, most interesting beers. Be it a sour, a stout, or something more adventurous, try to taste the unique contribution of its barrel in your next bottle.


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