Brouwer’s Cafe Is Sportin’ Wood – UPDATED 12/3

Big Wood Fest Logo 2012

Great beer can’t be rushed.  That is especially true for wood-aged beers.  It takes time for beers to glean the appropriate flavor and aroma qualities they can obtain by being stored for a time in wood barrels.  The subtelties and complexities of wood-aged beers have always appealed to me, which is why I’m really looking forward to one of my favorite events of the year, the 6th Annual Big Wood Fest coming up on Thursday, December 6th. 

Brouwer’s Cafe holds this event each year to showcase the wide and wonderful variety of beers that have all been wood-aged.  Every tap at Brouwer’s will be taken over by various wood-aged selections.  Stouts, Belgians, Sours and more will all be there; some aged on straight oak, others on oak bourbon barrels or brandy barrels, etc.  Some of my favorites from Big Wood 2011 included:

  • Firestone Walker Velvet Merkin (Unblended from the barrel) – rich and complex.  Subtly different from the blended versions I’ve had before.
  • Morte Subite Wit – with pleasant vanilla and citrus notes.  Yum!
  • Schooner Exact Hoppy The Woodsman – a dark, oak bourbon barrel-aged beer where the bourbon flavor really comes through.  One of my favorite winter beers of 2011.
If you’ve never had any wood aged beers, you’re really missing out.  The smoothness and complexity imparted by the wood-aging process is extremely pleasing to most noses and palates.  Those who enjoy good Scotch or Bourbon already know what amazing things wood-aging can do.
Big Wood 2012 kicks off, again, on Thursday, December 6th at 11:00AM, but will continue on through the weekend.  Just don’t wait too long to get down to Brouwer’s though, as the most popular selections always run out first and you don’t want to miss out. 

UPDATE: Brouwer’s has posted up the preliminary draft list for Big Wood 2012 (subject to change).  You can find it HERE

Drink responsibly and stay safe out there. 

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