Brewers Roll Out High-Alcohol Beers

January 29, 2010

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Copyright 2010 Portland Business Journal

Two of Oregon’s most noted craft beer makers will introduce products for ale enthusiasts who appreciate “big” beers that are both heavy and high in alcohol content.

Full Sail will bring out its Top Sail Bourbon Barrel Porter next month. The Hood River company stored the product in oak barrels used to distill such bourbons as Maker’s Mark and Stranahan’s for about a year. Full Sail’s marketing department describes the concoction as having “aromas of oak, coconut and bourbon. … Oak, toast and caramel flavors are rounded by the bourbon fire and sweetness.”

The beer’s alcohol content is 9.85 percent, or twice as much as much as a typical mass-produced domestic beer. It’s also made to condition well, meaning it ages nicely over time.

“If you store a few bottles in a dark, cool place and be patient, you will be rewarded for your effort and restraint,” said Jamie Emmerson, Full Sail’s executive brewmaster.

The beer will be sold in 22-ounce bottles and on tap in selected locations. Retailers carrying the beer include all area New Seasons, Zupans, Whole Foods and some Fred Meyer and QFC stores. All area beer specialty retailers will also carry the product.

Deschutes Brewery will also unveil a Reserve Series of its popular Jubelale winter seasonal. Jubel 2010 marks only the second time the Bend brewer has bottled the product, which, around the holidays, it sells on tap as “Super Jubel” at selected pubs.

The story behind the beer borders on folklore. Twenty years ago, a burglar tried to steal a Jubelale keg but misjudged the beer’s weight and left it behind in the snow. When Deschutes owner Gary Fish discovered it the next day, more than half the liquid in the keg had frozen, leaving a “very cold, highly concentrated Jubelale on steroids” ale, said spokeswoman Marie Melsheimer.

Brewers immediately began using the process to create the special Super Jubel blend, aging it in Oregon oak pinot barrels.

The beer contains 10 percent alcohol by volume. Deschutes will sell the 22-ounce wax-dipped bottles at all outlets that carry it through its 14-state reach.


One Response to “Brewers Roll Out High-Alcohol Beers”

  1. Mike Says:

    Wow! Sounds interesting. Next time I’m at Whole Foods I’ll look for it.

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