Esmé and Our Barrel-Aging Process

 

A little over a year ago, our brewers Blake and Derek brewed Esmé–a sunny and elegant French Saison. They loved this beer so much they decided to fill 20 Napa Valley red wine barrels with it, hoping the barrels would imbue the beer's character with qualities of oak and red wine. Last month Blake and Derek awoke the barrels and tried samples from each. The samples were not the same Esmé they remembered -- the beer had transformed into a smoothly sophisticated version of their original French saison. After tasting and selecting the best barrels from the batch, Blake and Derek blended all of the beer from barrels into a 30bbl brite tank. Barrel-Aged Esmé was ready. 

 
 These barrels are marked with the date Esmé was put into them. 

These barrels are marked with the date Esmé was put into them. 

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 Every barrel was labeled with the flavor profile of the barrel. Some barrels were kept to blend, others were discarded.

Every barrel was labeled with the flavor profile of the barrel. Some barrels were kept to blend, others were discarded.

 New flavors developed in the barrel, creating more complex and vinous flavors in the beer. 

New flavors developed in the barrel, creating more complex and vinous flavors in the beer. 

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 The final product.

The final product.

Evan Richards