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Summit Brewing's first whiskey barrel aged beer

Discussion in 'Midwest' started by JohnBierman, May 5, 2013.

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  1. JohnBierman

    JohnBierman Initiate (0) Sep 27, 2006 Minnesota

    Summit has a surprise for you! About 9 months ago we asked our friends at 2 Gingers Irish Whiskey for some whiskey barrels. We immediately filled them with Oatmeal Stout. Our brewers aged the Oat Stout for 8 months in the barrels. Recently, they racked a very limited amount of firkins of this beer. There will only be 4 firkins of this beer that will hit the Twin Cities area.

    All 4 firkins will be made available at the 4 Cara Pub locations in the Twin Cities during the month of May. On Saturday, May 11th we will be doing a pre-party for American Craft Beer Week and Kieran's Irish Pub in Minneapolis. They will feature a Summit Tap invasion and 1 of the firkins will be tapped at 2pm. Also, on Saturday, May 18th we will be at The Local hosting a American Craft Beer Week celebration. They will tap their firkin at 5pm that day. At The Local that day, the 2 Gingers folks will be giving away a 2 Ginger's whiskey barrel for home brewing purposes. They will also have Summit/2 Gingers cocktails, food pairings and a Summit Tap Invasion.

    Hope some of you can make it out! If not, we will be tapping the remaining 2 firkins at The Liffey and Cooper later in the month. Stay tuned for more details.
  2. PieOhMy

    PieOhMy Devotee (415) Feb 23, 2013 Minnesota

    Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!

    The 2 Gingers Oatmeal got my vote for best beer at Firkin Fest. I will go out of my way to have this again.
    JohnBierman likes this.
  3. herman77

    herman77 Meyvn (1,057) Jan 24, 2010 Minnesota

    Don't get me wrong, I love their oatmeal stout, but when I had the 2 Gingers oatmeal stout at firkin Fest, it seemed pretty harsh and not well integrated. I will still try it once Cooper taps their firkin of it. Hopefully it will taste different to me then. It just seems like the base beer is to "light" for barrel aging, let alone an Irish whiskey barrel.
  4. Icarus

    Icarus Initiate (175) Oct 6, 2012 Minnesota

    Bring it on!

    Sounds delicious
  5. iHeartMNBeer

    iHeartMNBeer Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2013 Minnesota

    I feel like a Double/ Imperial IPA would age well in 2 Gingers barrels. Haven't tried the oatmeal stout-2 Gingers firkin, but I love any kind of barrel aged stout. I'm sure I will like it.
  6. Steimie

    Steimie Initiate (0) Jan 7, 2012 Michigan

    No. Please, just no.
  7. JohnBierman

    JohnBierman Initiate (0) Sep 27, 2006 Minnesota

    Sorry that you were not a fan. The beer we put in the 2 Gingers barrels came from one of our normal brews of Oat Stout. I didn't notice any technical flaws or off flavors in the beer. The only issue that I had with the cask we brought to FF was a lack of carbonation. That was because the beer was racked into firkins the week of FF. The firkins that we are using at the Cara Pubs come from the same batch. By now, they should have had time to carbonate. If your issue with the beer is that it tasted too much like bourbon, I don't think that you will like these firkins any better.
  8. GFG

    GFG Initiate (0) Oct 24, 2012 North Dakota

    One would assume you're not much a fan of New Holland Dragon's Milk then, since it has such a strong bourbon flavor?
  9. herman77

    herman77 Meyvn (1,057) Jan 24, 2010 Minnesota

    Nope, love bourbon. Love BCBS. I like Dragons Milk. Just didn't think the flavors of the Irish whiskey and Summit's oatmeal stout mesh together well. As I said before, it was at firkin Fest... so that could have been part of it. Would be open to try it again and probably will since I live right by Cooper.
    KWMiles likes this.
  10. opwog

    opwog Defender (663) Jun 16, 2008 Minnesota

    I absolutely love Summit's Oatmeal Stout, but I have found that it is rare to find a lower ABV beer to work well with barral aging like this. Despite the fact that the base beer is on the more viscous side even for this style (which I love), what I usually see on these lower ABV barrel aged stouts is that the aging makes them suddenly feel to thin for the new flavor profile.

    And on a side note, what do people on here think of 2 Gingers? I love the story. How can you not romanticize the history of how 2 Gingers came about? I had a glass of this poured neat about a month ago, to try it out, but I didn't care for it at all. Not that Jameson is that much better, but I would have thought that the smaller, independent production story behind this would have been able to not only say goodbye to Jameson, but also create a superior product. Now I just hear the story repeated as great local legend, but have to sit there and bite my tongue about what I think about the actual whiskey.
    KWMiles and herman77 like this.
  11. herman77

    herman77 Meyvn (1,057) Jan 24, 2010 Minnesota

    Irish whiskey is different than bourbon to me. I much prefer bourbon to Irish whiskey any day. Maybe this was part of the reason I was not a big fan at firkin Fest. I will probably try it again at Cooper just to see and hopefully prove myself wrong. As I said before, love your oatmeal stout. It should be in tall boys with a nitro widget!
  12. Philly82785

    Philly82785 Aspirant (235) Dec 17, 2008 Minnesota

    Agreed, I've been hoping to see it released in cans myself.
  13. JohnBierman

    JohnBierman Initiate (0) Sep 27, 2006 Minnesota

    We don't put it in cans for 1 reason. We don't have a canning line. For us to buy one we would need 2 things...

    1. Space to put one. We just added fermentation space. However, we do not have space for a canning line in our existing facility.

    2. We need about $2.5 million dollars to buy a canning line that would integrate into our system. Smaller canning lines are available for around $50k. However. They have a delay from the moment the can is filled to the time that the top of the can is seamed on. This delay is enough for products like EPA to oxidize much quicker than in a bottle. We currently get the oxygen content in our bottles down to 1 part per billion. We would need our cans to match that in order to comfortably say that our product is good on the store shelves for 150 days (our current date code). If we had different codes for bottles vs cans, it would be difficult to depend on our distribution partners to monitor. It most likely wouldn't be a big deal here in the Twin Cities. However, we sell beer in other states and our product does not move as quickly there. We are afraid that some BA in Texas might grab an old oxidized can of our product and then rate it poorly on this site.

    That said, there is a lot of talk at Summit about getting a canning line right now. That said, it's not as easy as just buying one for us. Could we contract brew the cans like Finnegans is doing? Sure but that is not Mark Stutruds style. He likes to keep it all in house so we can have full control over our product.
  14. Philly82785

    Philly82785 Aspirant (235) Dec 17, 2008 Minnesota

    Ok, that makes sense. It is nice to hear that you guys are looking into a canning line. It is understandable why you're a bit leary about it at the same time because of shelf life out state. Thanks for the info John.
    JohnBierman likes this.
  15. JohnBierman

    JohnBierman Initiate (0) Sep 27, 2006 Minnesota

    The history of Summit and The Cara pub group is very interesting. We just had Kieran over to the brewery last week to shoot a video with Mr Stutrud. Chip will be posting it soon. Did you know that Kieran is the reason that we make Oatmeal Stout? We made it for the first time to supply Irish Fest in St Paul. Kieran first approached Guiness to make him a stout for the Fest. They were not able to accommodate. So, we made it and the rest is history.

    Also, he was responsible for the creation on Finnegans (which we contract brew). Jackie, who is the current owner of Finnegans worked for Kieran. He sold her the brand for a couple dollars. She has done a nice job marketing that product and their proceeds to a worthy cause.
  16. hamham

    hamham Initiate (0) Oct 26, 2011 Minnesota

  17. GFG

    GFG Initiate (0) Oct 24, 2012 North Dakota

    Fair enough. I thought you meant the whiskey taste was too strong
  18. herman77

    herman77 Meyvn (1,057) Jan 24, 2010 Minnesota

    It was fairly strong of what I remember (again, this was at Firkin Fest), but it just seemed like it did not work well with a low alcohol oatmeal stout. Carbonation was low, as John explained, so that probably contributed to the weirdness/me not being a fan of it.
  19. Bildo

    Bildo Initiate (0) Jan 24, 2013 Minnesota

    Either way cans or bottles, i will for sure be enjoying it.
  20. summitbeer

    summitbeer Initiate (26) Feb 6, 2013 Minnesota

    arniepnminne likes this.
  21. opwog

    opwog Defender (663) Jun 16, 2008 Minnesota

    Also, here are the details for the Cooper and Liffey tappings:

    "Outside of American Craft Beer Week, we'll tap one of these firkins at Cooper Pub & Restaurant on Friday, May 24th at 4pm. And Friday, May 31st at 3pm at The Liffey."
  22. Rob-P

    Rob-P Initiate (41) Feb 29, 2012 Iowa

    ISO:saga cans!
  23. Shag

    Shag Initiate (197) Jun 27, 2007 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I so hope this happens - need more options for softball beer!
    Rob-P likes this.
  24. AndyP612

    AndyP612 Initiate (0) Mar 10, 2013 Illinois

    I'm not sure Oat Stout is big enough to stand up to being conditioned in whiskey barrels. It's not that I don't like this stout, it's creamy and delicious, especially on nitro I just can't see it playing with well harsh whiskey flavor profiles. I just moved from MN and am sorta pissed I won't be able to try any of this. Unless someone wants to bottle it and send it to Chicago... :sunglasses:. Too bad it doesn't seem like anyone here is close enough to the source to do this. (don't think I can lay it on any thicker can I?)
  25. opwog

    opwog Defender (663) Jun 16, 2008 Minnesota

    Just reviving this thread because the third keg is supposed to go on at Cooper at 4:00 today. But there s no mention of it on the Cooper site and like I have always found each time I have called, nobody answers. It is close enough for me that I will probably just go by to see if they followed through on this. About a week ago, I met a girl who works at Cooper and she had no idea what I was talking about.
  26. herman77

    herman77 Meyvn (1,057) Jan 24, 2010 Minnesota

    I will probably be stopping by on my way home from work. Let me know if its on and how it is. Wasn't that good at firkin Fest, but I wanna give it another try.
  27. JohnBierman

    JohnBierman Initiate (0) Sep 27, 2006 Minnesota

    I am at Cooper now. We have 2 pins here instead of 1 firkin. Comparable amount of beer. We will start pouring at 4.
  28. herman77

    herman77 Meyvn (1,057) Jan 24, 2010 Minnesota

    It was much better this time around compared to Firkin Fest. Nothing mind blowing by any means, but a good twist on a beer I know well.
  29. opwog

    opwog Defender (663) Jun 16, 2008 Minnesota

    I am sure I had this at Firkin fest, as well, but it didn't leave a lasting impression for me to recall exactly what I thought. But as far as what I am having right now, this is a pleasant surprise! Much better balance than I expected. This is a very enjoyable beer.
    JohnBierman likes this.
  30. JohnBierman

    JohnBierman Initiate (0) Sep 27, 2006 Minnesota

    Thanks for coming down last night Opwog. It was a pleasure chatting beer with you!
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