Barrel Aged Beers
Barrel aged beers are the leather seats of the brewing world. The normal beer has a competitive price, but the beer aged in wood barrels costs a few bucks more. Nobody buys a car with cloth seats or crank windows. Why would you buy the beer without the liquor barrel aging?
Some of these barrel aged beers end up with more of the liquor flavor than the wood flavor. If the bourbon barrel still had a puddle of Maker's in the bottom, is the result a barrel aged beer, or an aged beer cocktail?
This trend seems to have culminated in breweries like Rogue and Dogfish Head distilling and aging spirits. Want some wood and rum flavor in your Rogue Chocolate Stout? Just add some Rogue Rum to your Rogue Beer.
I expect more large craft breweries to try their hand at distilling. If they can invent a cocktail using their existing beer, they might just kick off a trend.
What are the other brewers of note who are distilling too?
India Black Ale / Cascadia Dark Ale
The name of this beer is a topic of political discussion that I'll skip, but this style seems to be going more mainstream. Sam Adams awarded Blackened Hops a winning slot in the 2010 Longshot competition. 21st Amendment Brewery is canning their Back in Black.
This will give us beer nerds a fun time introducing our friends / bartenders to a new style.
"What do you mean you haven't heard of an IBA / CDA?" you'll gloat to your buddy, "there were 53 entries in the GABF this year!"
Anyone have a good pairing suggestion?
The trend towards canning is slowly growing, but that doesn't mean that the debate is over.
Can you age beer in cans? Sure, less oxygen is able to break into in a can versus a bottle, but how much gets in the beer during the canning process? How big is the difference in environmental impact between cans and bottles? What are the cost differences?
I expect the canning trend to keep growing, although I expect bottles will always have their place. A nice big bomber just looks nice on the shelf.
Oh, and can someone please explain to me why beer wouldn't age well in cans?