In tomorrow’s Austin American-Statesman, I explore the barrel programs at local breweries and distilleries, which often rely on each other to continue their wood-aged projects by swapping barrels — hot commodities that can sometimes be hard to find. (The story is already online here.)
Sadly, I didn’t have room to include all of the barrel-aged brews that have resulted from area brewers’ efforts, but consider this list your starter guide to ones that you can find around town right now.
Adelbert’s Tripel Treat: Adelbert’s Brewery founder Scott Hovey likes to go beyond bourbon barrels when aging beers for the brewery’s Vintage series. Because they’re easier to procure than other barrels out there, “bourbon barrel aging has been overdone, so it’s nice to offer something unique to consumers,” he said.
That “unique” beer comes in the form of Tripel Treat, Adelbert’s Tripel B aged in Treaty Oak’s Barrel Reserve rum barrels. It clocks in at a boozy 11.7 percent ABV, which you’ll taste in Tripel Treat’s “exquisite balance of warming rum notes, soft coconut and smooth oak, with a surprisingly fruity nose,” according to the brewery. It’s a good way to learn how barrels influence the beers within them; as Hovey noted, “the rum barrels really made the vanilla notes pop in ways that other barrels don’t.”