Taking advantage of the creativity afforded small independent craft brewers, Lacombe’s Blindman Brewing wants to try aging some of its beer in cognac barrels.
Aged in 3,000 litre oak barrels called foeder, co-founder Kirk Zembal estimated the beer will sit in the barrels for six months to a year before its ready to drink.
“We’ll taste the beer and it tells us when it’s ready to bottle,” said Zembal. “It will sit there for six months, up to a year, depending on the style.
“We like to push the boundaries here. We want to bring the best styles of beer from all around the world to Central Alberta.”
Blindman Brewing wants to purchase two of these barrels, used by winemakers for cognac in a previous life, to create this unique beer.
Contributions to the campaign include rewards such as a voucher for the beer when it is finished, stemware, sniffers, taking part in a “how to open a brewery” web seminar and a chance to work with the Blindman team and learn hands-on what it takes to make beer.
While they won’t know what flavours the barrels will add to the beer, but Zembal theorized vanilla, honey, caramel flavours could be added.
“We have to taste it to find out what the flavours will be,” said Zembal. “We use bourbon and red wine barrels at our brewery.
“It’s a little darker than standard wine because it has been distilled.”
The cognac distilling process involves oak barrels and aging wine.
Zembal said they had tasted other breweries, in the U.S. and B.C., who had attempted something similar and were inspired to try their own hand at making the beer.
Blindman brewed its first batch of beer in September 2015 and opened their taproom in Lacombe later that year.