Four beer trends
Find your new go-to brew in one of these up-and-coming beer varieties.
Tue Feb 15 2011
Whiskey loyalists, take note: Barrel-aged beer bridges the gap between suds and spirits. To create these heady quaffs, American brewers fill wooden casks—which once contained bourbon, rum or even red wine—with burly beers that can stand up to the barrel's assertive flavors. (Common candidates for aging are imperial stouts, double IPAs, Belgian tripels and barleywines.) The aging process, lasting anywhere from a couple of months to more than a year, mellows and transforms this higher-alcohol hooch, imparting soft, woody notes and nuanced hints of the containers' former contents.
Three to try:
Bourbon County Stout (Goose Island) The imperial stout is calmed by notes of chocolate and vanilla. Available at Half Pint, 76 W 3rd St at Thompson St (212-260-1088, thehalfpint.com). 12-ounce bottle $9.
He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. on Rye (Shmaltz Brewing Company) This complex IPA smells of caramel, vanilla and pine, and the rye's spicy bite is tempered by honey-sweet maltiness. Available at New Beer Distributors, 167 Chrystie St between Delancey and Rivington Sts (212-473-8757). 22oz bottle $9.50.
Barrel-Aged Mlange Trois (Nebraska Brewing Company) This Belgian-style blond has tannic notes and a vanilla nose. Available at Whole Foods Bowery, 95 E Houston St between Bowery and Chrystie St (212-420-1320). 25oz bottle $23.99.