Everything You Need to Know about Boughs of Barley
Our Holiday release, Boughs of Barley 2017, is already on tap in the Tasting Room and residing happily in the Hans Gruber, waiting to fill your commemorative 32-ounce Holiday growler. Trying to figure out how you can get your hands on it? Want to know what to do with it when you do? Those questions and more are answered below!
So… there’s two versions of this beer?
Yeah! Because… well… why the hell not?!?
Director of Brewing Operations Jimmy Valm had been wanting to use spirit barrels to age a brew for a while, and when our barrel guy hit him up with some primo Cognac barrels and some really, really choice Kentucky Bourbon barrels… well… what’s a guy to do?
Both versions pick up a wonderful amount of woodsiness from the barrels, but Bourbon is aged in charred barrels, so the Bourbon variant has a little more of a charcoal flavor to it while the Cognac version is a little more fresh. They both pick up a fair amount of sweetness from their barrels, but the Cognac version is a little more velvety.
The result is that there’s a noticeable difference between the two variants, with the Bourbon bringing more vanilla and toffee, while the Cognac brings more prunes and sherry. The Cognac variant is slightly smoother and the Bourbon has a little more alcohol heat.
Either version is sure to make the holidays just a little bit better. Particularly because they’re both near 11% ABV.
Variety is the spice of life, y’all! Little known fact: the rest of that quote is, “That’s what gives it all its flavor.”
Not-so-much when it comes to Boughs of Barley — it’s the two different barrels that give this beer its flavor, so we’ve got both versions on tap now in the Tasting Room. You’ll be able to try before you buy!
Can I get it as part of a flight?
In fact, our Retail General Manager Kaitlyn Smith has devised a killer Holiday flight to put you in the Holiday mood: you’ll get four-ounce pours of both versions of Boughs of Barley, along with R.A.D. #001 and our Cranberry Wheat with Orange for $12.
It’s winter goodness in flight-form! And it’s available now in the Tasting Room.
That growler looks awesome! How do I get my hands on it?
We wanted to make Boughs of Barley even more of a gift-giving opportunity for our loyal fans, so, instead of bottling it up in something that you’ll recycle when you’re done, we’ve got a reusable 32-ounce growler for you.
The beer lover on your list will thank you: not only for the brew inside, but for the opportunity to stop down and fill it back up! Maybe add a gift card into the mix, just so he or she has one more chance to get some CMBC brew.
It’s $25 for growler and fill. If you’d like to get both versions of the brew — or if you want to do two fills of one version — we’ll do two for $45.
Hans Gruber is the bomb-diggity when it comes to filling growlers. Our direct-from-Austria growler filler keeps beer-killing oxygen at bay by purging the growler with nitrogen, slowly filling the growler so that carbonation keeps at a minimum, then counterfilling it with more nitrogen.
This way, you get a much longer shelf-life from your growler than if we filled it from the tap: up to three weeks if you keep it cold. We don’t recommend aging this bad boy, but we think you’re going to want to guzzle it down as soon as you hand it over during your Holiday bottle exchange, anyway. In fact, we hope it makes it that far.
So, if you’re planning to give this for a Holiday gift, your best bet is to stop down just before the holidays so that you can get the most shelf life out of the deal. Another recommendation is to seal the lid with some electrical tape. Our Brewtique Team is strong-like-bull — they can really put some torque on a cap — but that added bit of seal will help keep things fresher for a longer period of time.
Either way, we expect that delicious nectar to stay fresh through the Holidays.
Any other questions? Let us know in the comments, or feel free to swing down to the brewery!