Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Brewery Vivant Is Planning A Great Wood Aged Beer Fest

Written by  Aimee West
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Brewery Vivant Wood Beer Fest 2015

I had the enjoyable experience to sit down and talk with Kate Avery, Abbess of Beer and Director of Sales and Marketing, from Brewery Vivant about the upcoming Wood Aged Beer Fest on Sept. 19.
We talked about the brewers of cask beer’s favorite sayings is, “The beer is ready when the beer is ready.” This statement really rings true with wood aged beer. They have found that Whiskey Rooster only needs to age an average of three to four weeks whereas others flavors can take up from three months to a year before they are ready. There is another saying when you are using wood barrels, “The barrel has a mind of its own. The wood tells us what it wants to make.” Kate reiterated how true that really is, and that, “There really is an art to create barrel aged beers and there are a lot of variables.” We are so glad Brewery Vivant is up to the task and willing to share their hard work with us.

As always when using wooden barrels, availability is very important. If you are not aware there is a barrel shortage happening. This year they had many bourbon barrels available. They also have red and white wine barrels and stripped oak barrels in which they are excited to brew in.

This year there will be two Wood Aged Beer Fest tasting sessions. The afternoon session will be from 1 to 4 p.m. and the evening tasting will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Kate was very excited about attendees receiving a more personal experience with the two sessions. With limited space around Brewery Vivant for a festival, creating two sessions will keep it intimate but allow for more people to enjoy the classiest experience available. An important part of the experience is being able to talk to the brewers and learn more about the beers you are sampling and learning about what flavors and styles you like. Kate mentioned that she didn’t want people to be a face in the crowd, but to be able to talk about the beer and get a more enjoyable experience overall. Plus, she also feels that her coworkers are pretty cool to hang out with and want other people to be able to have the experience.

Kate was gracious enough to share a peak into the list before it is official.

  • A new 2015 batch of Love Shadow will make a triumphant return to taps for WABF15. This beer went down to the gypsum mine caves on  Aug 7, 2014 and we took it out just over a year later: Aug 10, 2015, racked it up (put it into kegs) and will pour it at WABF15
  • Brett Papa - This was our Bon Papa (hoppy farmhouse ale) from earlier in 2015, but we aged a barrel of it with Brettanomyces, which lends a funky quality to this light but hoppy beer.
  • We saved a barrel of our famous PARIS to pour specially for WABF. This is an imperial saison (Zaison, 9% abv brewed with orange peel and black peppercorns) aged in a red wine barrel for over nine months on a special Vivant blend of funky cultures.
  • We also are bringing out a big stunner with a Bourbon Barrel Aged Zaison. Lots of bourbon character layered into an already big, complex beer.

Make sure you bring your appetite, too, because the kitchen will be serving: Duck Confit Nachos, Smoked Turkey Legs, Vegan Chili, Smoked Beef Sandwich, Festival Frites!

Kate had these parting words to say, “That's just a small sampling of the inventiveness we'll be pouring. If you don't have tickets for this thing yet, you're crazy!” So are you crazy or do you have your tickets already?

Tickets are available HERE

Aimee West

Aimee West

Is new to the craft beer scene but always willing and wanting to learn more.