Beer Maverick

Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer

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Category: Hybrid
BJCP Comparable Category: 23A - Wood-Aged Beer

Style Description

This is the description of how the Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer style of beer should taste, feel and look. However, there may be perfectly fine beers in this style that fall outside of these ranges and descriptions. This information is just to show the most commonly accepted ranges for the Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer beer style.

These are any traditional or experimental style of lager, ale or hybrid beer aged in either a wooden barrel or in contact with wood. These beers are aged with the intention of developing unique attributes imparted by the wood and/or liquids that had previously been stored in contact with the wood. Wood aging does not necessarily impart wood flavors, but does result in distinctive sensory outcomes. Used sherry, rum, whiskey, tequila, port, wine and other barrels are often used, imparting complexity and uniqueness to a beer. A balance of flavor, aroma and mouthfeel results from the marriage of new beer with attributes imparted by the wood or barrel. Wood-Aged Beers may or may not have Brettanomyces character. When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Such information might include the underlying beer style upon which the entry is based, or other information unique to the entry such as length of time aged, type of wood or barrel, age, char level or previous liquids held by the wood, ingredients or other processing which influence perceived sensory outcomes. Competition organizers may create subcategories which reflect groups of entries based on color, alcoholic strength, underlying beer style, fruit, etc.

  • Color: Varies with underlying style and can be influenced by the color of added fruit(s) if any
  • Body: Varies with underlying style
  • Malt Flavors & Aromas: Varies with underlying style
  • Hop Flavors & Aromas: Varies with underlying style
  • IBUs/Bitterness: Varies with underlying style
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Typical of underlying style of beer being aged
  • Common Ingredients: Varies with base style. Aged in wooden casks or barrels, or using wood-based additives (wood chips, wood staves, oak essence). Fuller-bodied, higher-gravity base styles often are used since they can best stand up to the additional flavors, although experimentation is encouraged.
  • Commercial Examples: Bush Prestige, Cigar City Humidor India Pale Ale, Faust Holzfassgereifter Eisbock, Firestone Walker Double Barrel Ale, Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout, Petrus Aged Pale, Samuel Smith Yorkshire Stingo

Brewing Properties of Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer

These are the functional brewing properties of Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer beers, as descided by the Brewers Association. These guidelines reflect, as accurately as possible, the historical significance, authenticity or a common profile in the current commercial beer market.

The alcohol by volume is shows the amount of alcohol this style of beer should have.
The International Bittering Units (IBU) scale is used to approximately quantify the actual (not perceived) bitterness of beer.
SRM is a scale for measuring the color intensity of a beer. Low SRM grains impart a pale straw color while higher values mean it will add a darker color to the wort. Learn more »

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