After several months, the High Plains Drafters 2016 barrel project has wrapped up. We racked 110 gallons of Belgian Golden Strong into two California Wine barrels. These barrels aged four months and were trialed throughout their maturation. Eventually, we decided it was time to pull the beer into individual kegs.
The beer retained much of its original high ester character (banana and bubblegum very prevalent), but also took on some tannins from the wood and a bit of an acetone note. We’ll have to watch to see if this solvent quality subsides. Unfortunately, very little of the wine quality of the barrel is expressed in the resulting beer.
Many thanks to DanielMarks Brewery in Cheyenne with their help with this project. Thanks to George for the space to keep the barrels, Shawn and Brent for the use of the barrels and all the members of the Drafters for participating in the transport, tasting and emptying of the barrels.
Lets come up with some good ideas on what we’d like to put in the barrels next and we’ll arrange for everyone to brew and get the beer ready for a 2017 session.