GABF Beer School at the Rackhouse Pub is back! We’re still finalizing our schedule, but here’s our first confirmed session. On Wednesday, October 9 from 3-5pm, we’ll be talking about blending craft beer with Avery Brewing Company Barrel Herder Andy Parker.
Gestalt Theory: Blending a Barrel-Aged Sour Beer
Andy Parker, the self-proclaimed “experimental arm of an experimental brewery,” invites you to join him as he shares his philosophy and approach to blending an Avery barrel-aged sour ale. By deconstructing the beer into its component parts and taking you through the thought process behind countless blending sessions, Parker will demonstrate how he came to the final beer, “a blended sour that is greater than the sum of its parts.”
Barrel-aged sours are an often misunderstood class of beers. Like with the making of a great wine, the blending of the barrels after the aging process is an important part of creating the finished beer. To make them brewers use bacteria strains, which “sour” the beer through the creation of lactic and acetic acid. Aged in repurposed oak barrels anywhere from six months to up to three or more years, the beers often gain the vinous or spirit like characteristics from what previously occupied the barrel.
This class is focused on Andy’s approach to blending a particular sour he made earlier this year. During the blending of this particular sour a couple of months ago, Andy pulled off some kegs of each of the component parts of that particular beer. He also made a few kegs from barrels that didn’t make the cut in those rounds of blind tasting. During the talk, participants will taste eight beers… the finished sour, the four component parts, and three barrels that didn’t make the cut. Andy will talk about how Avery goes about blending, what each of the component parts added to the beer, why the some barrels didn’t make it. Participants will also be given small measuring cups so that they can use the beers on the table and make their own blends.
The buzz surrounding sours grows daily and few styles attract the type of passionate fans that these mouth-puckering beers do. This is your chance to learn more about these beers and the philosophy behind their creation from one of the pioneers of the style here in Colorado.