Are breweries relying too heavily on barrel aging?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by krl2112, Feb 5, 2013.


Are breweries relying too heavily on barrel aging?

  1. Yes

  2. No

  3. I don't care

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  1. TheGoldsmith

    TheGoldsmith Initiate (0) Jan 20, 2013 Missouri

    I I think it's an issue to look at barrel aged beers as being price jacked with no reason. If the barrels don't cost the brewery, the time it takes to age these beers and the increased complexity of the process requires a higher price tag. This is not to say all beers are reasonably priced though.
    Also, barrel aging is a trend, and craft breweries are creative entities, so it makes sense for them to explore any new avenues with their beers. I think if a brewery wants to play around with barrel aging, let them. And then let the market decide if it's a good venture or not.
  2. jasonmason

    jasonmason Initiate (174) Oct 6, 2004 California

    Do you personally think this is acceptable? Just because a brewery doesn't accept barrel aging to chase the current trend, that they deserve to fall by the wayside?
  3. Pahn

    Pahn Meyvn (1,477) Dec 2, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    pretty sure s/he meant that the breweries that fuck up with barrel aging will just go back to releasing non-BA beer.

    contrary to appearances, most brewery revenue comes from non-"special release" beers. you don't need to worry about it.
    bozodogbreath likes this.
  4. Smurf2055

    Smurf2055 Initiate (0) Nov 12, 2011 Washington

    A brewery needs to have a few stable flagship offerings and a fan base before they can start doing barrel aging. It's a rather large investment and takes a long time to make. The money is in the good selling, quick turn around, every day beers, not the barrel aged stuff.
  5. jasonmason

    jasonmason Initiate (174) Oct 6, 2004 California

    Eh, I know. Trend-chasing just annoys me to no end, and the beer 'community' has become so indoctrinated in this in the last few years. Now you have breweries throwing all sorts of things that don't benefit from barreling (Ambers, browns, certain stouts, and IMO ipas) into barrels, simply to be seen as 'innovative'.

    Reminds me of the irony of a commercial from years back: "Be an individual. Drink Dr. Pepper.".

    edit - just to be clear, i absolutely enjoy certain -bal stuff. Just feel like the trend has become more important than the craft, if that makes sense.
    Manoftyr and BGrider85 like this.
  6. 19etz55

    19etz55 Disciple (326) Aug 12, 2007 New Jersey

    Well said. I'm not big on BA's but lots of people want them. There should be these beers for the public. Don't buy them if you don't want to. But don't bash the companies. It's hard to stay afloat in this craft business and they to do what is in THEIR best interest.
  7. Pahn

    Pahn Meyvn (1,477) Dec 2, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    a few years ago, i'd say you're being paranoid, but i have noticed a lot more worthless "BA amber beer" or whatever at bars. meh, i'm sure it will pass--unless someone does it well. all the better in that case though.

    edit: actually, i too like some of the sillier barrel aged experiments, but i've had a lot of duds, and a lot of them were "why are you putting a 5% pale ale into a barrel in the first place?"
    jasonmason likes this.
  8. Larkin4beer

    Larkin4beer Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2012

    The Bruery, Crooked Stave, Russian River Perhaps, Jolly Pumpkin.. there is probably more
  9. reverseapachemaster

    reverseapachemaster Aspirant (244) Sep 21, 2012 Texas
    Beer Trader

    I've had some intriguing barrel aged stuff along with the glut of barrel aged big beers. It's trendy but it's probably not going away, either. It's too easy to buy off barrels from distilleries and wineries and if you need to sell them off once the barrel character is stripped out there's homebrewers begging to buy them up or you can shift them over to aging sours and brett beers.

    Like brewing big beers and having to make everything incredibly hoppy, it's the BIG trend now but it will probably ebb in a few years as people get tired of every beer tasting like barrel. Barrel aged stouts and sours will probably always be with us (and that's a good thing).
  10. xanok

    xanok Disciple (369) Aug 13, 2009 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

  11. jtg5678

    jtg5678 Aspirant (210) Nov 27, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    There seems to be a default to barrel age a beer when a brewery wants to engineer hype. Personally, I find a fair amount of BA beers to be one-dimensional, so from a personal taste standpoint, I'd like to see breweries do different variants that don't bring in additional ABV and instead focus on complexity of flavor.
  12. xanok

    xanok Disciple (369) Aug 13, 2009 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    Citation needed on that last statement.
  13. HokiesandBeer

    HokiesandBeer Initiate (0) Jan 10, 2013 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    As long as they make them in addition to their usual beers and not making them in place of their usual beers then I don't see a problem.
  14. Wingfan13

    Wingfan13 Initiate (0) Aug 10, 2009 Texas
    Beer Trader

    Firestone Walker ?
  15. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,354) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    All of the Jolly Pumpkin beers spend time in the wood.
  16. fox227

    fox227 Initiate (0) Nov 19, 2010 California

    So craft breweries want to experiment with barrels more? Sounds like it might actually be, I dunno, fun for them, and a luxury to be able to afford to make in the first place?
  17. geocool

    geocool Initiate (175) Jun 21, 2006 Massachusetts

    Bruery? Russian River? Firestone-Walker? I think you guys are confusing "10% of revenue" with "10% of what you personally might prefer to consume" from these breweries.
    Pahn likes this.
  18. Docrock

    Docrock Defender (686) Jan 21, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Which DIPA are the charging 13.00 for? Dreadnaught, Arctic Panzer and most all 22oz Bombers are 10.00 all day every day. And that's out the door, no tax. Zombie Dust and all 12 oz are 10.00 a sixer which is a steal compared to what others are charging for comparable beers.

    The BA releases are pricey and I don't buy them all but I have some and in the 750 bottles they are really nice to share with several people..just my 2 cents..
    bozodogbreath likes this.
  19. Docrock

    Docrock Defender (686) Jan 21, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Oh and aside from the price, the fact they this gives BrewMasters a chance to be even more creative, I'm all for it.
  20. kdb150

    kdb150 Zealot (501) Mar 8, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I'm not really familiar enough with Bruery's regular lineup to say, and I think FW almost certainly makes the vast majority of their money off of Union Jack, 31, and all of the other non-barrel aged beers.

    I'd be interested to know what the breakdown is for RR, however. I'm sure that Blind Pig and Damnation make up the lion's share of their revenue, but their barrel-aged sours are a large part of their brand, especially here in Philly. Whether that means they are also a large part of their sales is hard to say.
  21. loony4lambic

    loony4lambic Initiate (0) Nov 26, 2012 California

  22. schuey1010

    schuey1010 Initiate (176) Jun 18, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

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