A popular style come winter, barrel aged beer is any lager, ale or hybrid beer that has been aged in a barrel or in contact with wood.
It’s a brewing technique that results in some outstanding beer, so we’ve hit up Stone & Wood’s Byron Brewer, Josh Waters, for more intel on the process.
What is the purpose of barrel-ageing beer?
The purpose of barrel ageing beers is to draw flavour from the oak and the previous spirit or wine that was in the barrel, also to increase its ABV%.
Can you tell us the process behind barrel-ageing?
Once we receive the barrels, it’s just a matter of transferring our fermented beer into the barrels and putting it in storage until we’re ready to bottle or keg it. Some beers like the Über Stone Beer will be stored for up to 24 months. We can also ferment in barrels for our sour/ funky style beers.
What beer styles lend themselves to barrel ageing? What beer styles in recent times have become popular to barrel age?
We tend to barrel age big winter beers most frequently, beers like porters and stouts. We also barrel age saison and Flanders style beers for Forest For The Trees. You can barrel age whatever style of beer you like as long as it will taste great blended with the flavours and aromas from what was previously in the barrel and the barrel itself.
Give us a quick rundown of this years’ Barrel Aged Stone Beer
This year’s barrel aged Stone Beer was brewed using a range of pale and roasted malts to give a nice balance of malty goodness with strong bitterness and heaps of flavour. The addition of extremely hot volcanic rocks to the boil is to add a caramel like sweetness to the wort. We brewed this beer to 8% ABV in the brewhouse and once fermented it was stored in whisky barrels for 12 months. The result is a super smooth 10% ABV Barrel aged porter.