Boozy Beer Kits
Craft brewers have been dabbling with barrel-aged beers for quite a while now and they have been a hugely popular style ever since their inception in the early '90s. Barrel aging is more or less exactly what it sounds like - aging beer in a barrel that was previously used to store another alcohol, such as whiskey, bourbon, or wine. It might stay in the barrel for weeks or sometimes even years. Over the aging period the beer takes on the character of the barrel wood and the liquor that was previously housed in the cask. The malt, hop, and yeast of the resident beer becomes infused with woody oak, creamy vanilla, and the flavors of whiskey and wine. The practice has become widespread because of the unique and complementary flavors it can impart. From IPA’s aged in old zinfandel and chardonnay barrels, to Russian imperial stouts aged in rye whisky barrels, to wild and sour beers aged in barrels that play host to a tremendous variety of microflora - craft brewers continue to find innovative ways to create unique flavors and aromas in their brews.
One boundary they have not yet crossed is adding distilled spirits directly to beer. They are forbade by law from adding any additional alcohol to their fermented products. The barrel aging process is something of a loophole, a way of integrating the flavor profile of the spirit (and perhaps any of the liquor that happens to be left in the barrel) into the beer. Homebrewers are in a unique position, since they are not bound by the same laws as craft brewers, to experiment with creating unique concoctions of beer and booze. There are some famously fantastic recipes floating around that feature the flavor of bourbon combined with porter. Imagine how beer might play with the distinct flavors of some of your favorite spirits - Gin IPA, spiced rum brown ale, smooth Canadian whiskey in an amber ale, spicy rye whiskey in a roggenbier, smoky scotch whisky in a 90 /-. Believe us, if the big guys were allowed to do this, they would be, in a big way. That’s just one more reason why it’s great to be a homebrewer.
More people are discovering how the character of distilled spirits seem to go hand in hand with craft beer. So much so that master mixologists have been turning their eyes upon beer, concocting some very unique and interesting libations. You may be familiar with the beer chaser that accompanies the bloody mary, the black and tan, or the Irish car bomb, but these new modern mixtures are taking the concept of the beer cocktail to a whole new level.
In a shaker glass, muddle the serranos with the simple syrup. Add mezcal, lemon juice and ice. Shake and strain into a Collins glass over ice. Top with IPA. Garnish with lemon peel.
*For less heat, substitute with a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce.
Witty Gin Fizz Recipe
Vigorously shake gin, lemon juice, syrup and egg whites with ice. Pour over cracked ice, top with the beer.