Pleasure of Beer at Cheese: Wood-Aged Beers

Maybe some of you have already noticed. Let’s make it clear for those who haven’t: Cheese offers many events dedicated to beer! A great accompany for cheeses, it couldn’t be missing from our program.

Here, Eugenio Signoroni will stimulate our thirst for a few weeks with a series of articles related to beer.

Image taken from web

Let’s begin with the event on Sunday the 17th of September at 7 pm. Inside the Istituto Alberghiero Velso Mucci, The Complexity of Wood-Aged Beers workshop will take us back in time.

Wood has been a material of privilege for thousand of years. Today, since steel and glass make up most of the production, the use of wooden barrels to make beers seems strange.

Modern producers are much more enthusiastic about this material for the sole purpose of emulating wine.

But wood-aging doesn’t have to be exclusive to wine. In fact, aging beers in large wood barrels have led to the development and diffusion in styles such as the English porter, which would otherwise lose its aromatic characteristics.

Likewise, the use of small barrels has allowed the more alcoholic and hopped pale ales to travel to India, giving birth to the Indian Pale Ale. And the barrels that always accompany lambics in the cellars of Pajottenland breweries protect the must during long months of fermentation, and contribute to their character.

In the workshop dedicated to wood-aged beers, you will discover the secrets of this material and the many ways of using it. We will talk about ancient methods and taste the Belgian red Flemish Ale that is still aged in large barrels for months.

Foeders are huge wooden cylinders high up to the ceiling of a brewery. They also contribute greatly to the sensory profile of these Flemish beers, bringing lively acidic notes due to the presence of acetobacteria.

 

Image taken from web

Now we go on with the most contemporary uses. Barrels – often used for the aging of wine or spirits – not only acts as a container, but becomes an ingredient and yields aromas and scents that are otherwise difficult to obtain.

In this regard, we will try some Italian wood-aged beers that, with the attempt of the brewer to tie them to their land of production, are matured in barriques that have hosted important wines.

This is a very widespread practice nowadays, to the point that many brewers have a barrique dedicated to the ripening of their special products.

Lastly, we will taste beers in which the wood work is summed up with fruits. This is a very common blend breweries practice around the world. The workshop is a real trip to one of the techniques that have contributed to making beer such a complex and fascinating product.

Eugenio Signoroni
e.signoroni@slowfood.it

Is your thirst still not satisfied? Come to:

Hops Plus: Herbs and Spices and the Art of Brewing on Thursday the 15th of September

Pleasure of Beer on Sunday the 17th of September

 

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