OAK Project

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Barrel Program Manager Travis Camacho pulls samples from a barrel.

 

Here at Drake’s we love experimenting with anything we can get our hands on, especially barrels and bugs. Our Specialty and Barrel Aged Beer Program is the proving ground for some of the most eclectic and extreme beers we produce.

The variety of beers created by our Barrel Master Travis Camacho, and his ‘Barrel Minions’ never ceases to amaze us.

Founded in 2007 by former brewer Rodger Davis, the Specialty Beer Program acquires barrels from multiple sources, including locals such as Mosswood Distillery, Lusu Cellars, Rockwall Winery; and some a bit further from home, such as High West Distillery. We use both wine and spirit barrels to bring new flavors and aromas to our beers. Our beers age on average of 6 months to 2 years. In that time, the oak barrel, rich in flavor from the wine or spirit it once held, infuses the beer with new life. A Bourbon barrel will add a rich sweetness and subtle warmth to our Drakonic Imperial Stout or Headzo Strong Ale, where as a Cabernet barrel will impart a dense fruity and tannic aroma and flavor to a our Mission Kriek or Brette Davis Eyes Sour Blonde. The aging process meshes the beer with the oak and calms the sharper flavors of the beer. The options are only limited to the depths of our imagination.

Not just restricted to barrels, we infuse our beers with any number of additional ingredients, including wine grapes, tart cherries, peaches, cocoa nibs, coffee, chilies, honey, blood orange, and many more.  For our American sour beer production, we use lactobacillus bacteria and brettanomyces yeast to produce sharply tart and funky flavors. With any combination of barrels, ingredients, and souring “bugs” at his disposal, Camacho and his team are the ‘mad scientists’ of our brewery. As our Barrel Aged and Specialty beer program continues to expand, expect to see more of these beers bottled and available for sale at our retail locations.

The nature of the Barrel Aged and Specialty beer production is dependent on time to mature, age, re-ferment, and acquire unique ingredients. Availability is limited, but here a few recipes that you’ll see pop up on the beer wall at the Drake’s Barrel House.

barrel-house-reserve-series

  • Headzo – American Strong Ale aged in Wild Turkey Bourbon Barrels
  • Headzo II – American Strong Ale aged in Bourbon and Port Barrels.
  • Bourbon Drakonic – Barrel Aged Drakonic Imperial Stout aged in High West Bourbon Barrels
  • Rye Robustito – Session Porter aged in High West Rye Whiskey Barrels
  • Oaklanderweisse – Berlinerweisse Style Kettle Sour Wheat
  • Pungent Pumpkin – Sour Pumpkin Ale aged in Cabernet Barrels
  • Wild Hundo – 100% Brett Fermented 1500 Pale Ale
  • Brette Davis Eyes – American Style Sour Blonde aged in Hall Winery Cabernet Barrels
  • Mission Kriek – Brette Davis Eyes with Tartarian Heirloom black cherries
  • Lusu’s Lovechild – Flanders Red Style Sour Red with Zinfandel Grape Pomace and Aged in Lusu Cellars Chardonnay Barrels
  • Unholy Alliance – American Style Sour Blonde aged with Viogner Grape Skins
  • Papa Roy’s Peche – Brett Belgian Ale with Peaches