Festival Preview: WA: 12/5 11am Festival Preview: WA: 12/5 Brouwer's Cafe presents Bigwood 2013

image "Barrels of fun" from fmgbain's Flickr page & sourced via Creative CommonsJust a polite nudge if you think that you might be coming down with a case of the 24-hour flu - Brouwer's Café’s (400 North 35th Street) Bigwood Festival returns for 2013.

Known for their Hard Liver Barley Wine Fest, the Bigwood festival is a celebration of all things barrel-aged. In fact, unlike other beer festivals, this is probably the most diverse as it provides people with an opportunity to consume beers that can be described as sour, boozy, bourbon-like, or pretty much any other words associated with a beer aged in a spent barrel.

Over a couple of centuries ago beer was once aged in wooden barrels. It wasn't approximately a century later that wood was replaced with steel and aluminum. Today when one imagines something alcoholic and aged in a barrel the association is with a hearty scotch, a sweet bourbon, a sharp vodka, or dark rum. The final stage of the distilling process fulfilled the only thing left to do, with the barrel, would be to toss it out.

Thankfully in the past three decades, breweries have recognized the unique flavors and aromas that can be extracted from a bourbon, scotch, or whiskey barrel. Which is why the words “barrel-aged” or “bourbon barrel-aged” are commonly found on bar menus and bottle labels.

Starting at 11am the staff of Brouwer's Cafe invite you walk in, grab a chair or booth, and re-discover a barrel-aged beers.


Need a few suggestions? Here are some of my picks.

Pacific Northwest

  • Alaskan Rough Trade Barrel Aged Smoked Porter.
  • American Brewing’s Stupid Sexy Flanders
  • Anacortes Dubbel Bourbon Critters
  • Big Al Jupiter’s Blood Sour
  • Big Time Sour Trombipulator Belgian Tripel
  • Black Raven Cognac Barrel Aged Birdbrain Barleywine
  • Boneyard  Barrel Aged Suge Knight
  • Breakside  Rye Barrel Aged Fresh Hop IPA
  • Cascade Barrel Aged Karma Citra Cide
  • Elysian Dry Fly Aged Split Shot
  • Epic Big Bad Baptist
  • Flyers Barrel Aged Brouwer’s 8
  • Fremont Vanilla B Bomb
  • Logsdon Cerasus Flanders-style Red
  • North Sound Sucellus Bourbon barrel-aged Porter
  • Pike Entrie ’13
  • Snipes Mountain Terror ’13
  • Sound Brewing  G’Indescretion (Gin Barrel Aged)


  • Almanac Barrel Noir
  • Ballast Point Victory at Sea Rum Barrel Aged
  • Ballast Point Barrel Aged Sea Monster
  • Firestone Hat Trick Sour
  • Stone Vertical Epic 09.09.09 aged in Red Wine Barrels
  • Stone Vertical Epic 10.10.10 aged in Bourbon Barrels
  • Uncommon Oaked Porter


  • Big Sky Four Roses Barrel aged Old Bluehair.
  • Boulder Mortimer
  • Surly Misanthrope
  • Surly Pentagram

East Coast

  • Allagash Curieux #1409


  • Finn River High West Rye Barrel Aged Cider


  • Vejle Bryghus Mad Viking Cognac Imperial Stout
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