Crackin’ Barrels

Bars, Breweries
Crackin’ Barrels

Head to Young Henrys this Saturday for a Craic & Barrel Boilermaker – and to see first-hand how a whiskey barrel is made

When combining whiskey and beer, do not drop the shot glass into the beer glass – take a neat whiskey and enjoy it alongside a good brew (a Boilermaker).

Young Henrys brewer Oscar McMahon is a Boilermaker man, and reckons Young Henrys Newtowner or Real Ale are ace to pair with Jameson Caskmates – a whiskey that has been finished in craft stout barrels. That’s exactly what you can experience at the Sydney Craft Beer Week Crackin’ Barrels event at Young Henrys Brewery in Newtown on Saturday October 29, 1-7pm.

“We partnered with Jameson on the gala opening of last year’s Sydney Craft Beer Week, which was really fun,” McMahon says. “We really enjoyed working with the Jameson people. We really like their products, and for a big brand they’re actually allowed to have a lot of fun, which is something that Young Henrys is passionate about as well.”

As a special drawcard, Jameson have invited their head cooper, Ger Buckley, to break down, rebuild and char some barrels during the afternoon. Buckley is a fifth-generation cooper in a craft that has changed very little in the last 2,000 years. “It’s a process not many people get to see,” McMahon says. “The charring is like smoking it to toast the wood and create a different flavour profile.”

But there’s a third compelling reason to get along to the Newtown brewery on Saturday. Young Henrys will be unveiling a brand-new beer, Craic & Barrel – an Irish red ale finished in Jameson casks. “We thought, you know what? Let’s take this relationship to the next level. Let’s use whiskey and beer together,” McMahon reveals.

So what does this Jameson-aged Irish red taste like? “It’s quite a malt-driven beer but it’s got some really interesting whiskey and wood notes from the barrel ageing. It’s not as thick in body as you would think from a barrel-aged beer, which actually makes it really drinkable (and the perfect sidekick to Jameson Caskmates).

“It’s great the people from Jameson believe in our product as much as we believe in theirs. That they’re relaxed enough to work on a project with someone much smaller than they are, like us, shows that it truly is a cool industry we work in.”

Read about more great events in Sydney Craft Beer Week 2016.

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