Releasing this coming weekend for our 4th Anniversary celebration at the brewery, is a beer we call ‘The Harbinger’.
The base “style” of this beer, if we must put it into a category, is American Strong Ale. This moniker is pretty undescriptive, so I’d like to elaborate. Even though Harbinger is 13 percent alcohol by volume, it does not have an extremely heavy malt base. It’s not a barleywine. The malts we selected for it are very flavorful, but we mashed them at a relatively low temperature, resulting in a more fermentable wort with fewer sugars left behind post-fermentation (its final gravity is 1.010, for those interested). The body is also lightened considerably by the specialty sugars we included in the boil. These sugars add fermentables and leave behind flavor, but do not add body to the beer the way using more malt would. So expect big flavor, but not huge body.
Once fermentation of The Harbinger was complete, the beer was aged in freshly dumped bourbon whiskey barrels, which has amplified the character already present, while adding new flavors like coconut and vanilla. Aging in oak barrels can add wonderful character to beer and this is where the Harbinger gets its name. Harbinger means the “bringer, omen, or herald” of something. That “something” in this case, is our exploration of wood aging. Since opening our new facility, we’ve been building up a float of used spirit and wine barrels, which we will use to explore new flavors in our beer. Harbinger is the first of many such projects.
We look forward to seeing you at the celebration this Saturday and sharing this beer with you!