From the Brewer: Luke Looks to Year Two

It’s official — I’ve been with Streetside Brewery for one year, and I still can’t fathom all Garrett and I have accomplished. From winning an award within 24 hours of opening to three can releases and a bottle release in just one year, it’s hard to believe what we have done. But don’t worry, that’s just the tip of the iceberg of what’s to come in year two.

What makes me most excited for year two is not just the growth we’ll experience with new employees, fermenters and yet-to-be-announced collaborations, but our barrel-aging program. Oak barrels have been a large infatuation of mine since my journey into home brewing in early 2012, and I am pleased to be working for someone who shares the same interest. What began as six red wine barrels in November 2016 at Streetside has slowly evolved into almost 40 barrels, including wine, bourbon, mead and tequila barrels.

The main focus of our barrel-aging program to start has been sour beers. Layering our cellar every month with a new base and yeast culture to diversify our final products has been vital for the sustainability of the program. We will soon be at 36 barrels, with a max storage capacity of 48. But fret not! We have plans on the horizon for offsite storage space that will not only increase our sour stock but our clean beers as well!

Having just bottled our first bourbon barrel beer, Garrett and I now have a better understanding of how our product ages in oak, the flavors that the barrel may impart, and aging times. With these learnings, we have begun test-batching multiple stout and barley wine recipes, which we feel confident will age gracefully. Due to this, we will slowly begin to diversify our clean side storage, with the hopes of a large presence in the oak game in the state of Ohio. But don’t think it’ll just be bourbon barrels. We have some tricks up our sleeves with some hard-to-obtain barrels that we know not many around here have. Of course, I don’t want to get into too much detail — you’ll just have to wait for the next year to unfold!

Until next time,

Luke Shropshire