Atwater Brewery Introduces Barrel Aged VJ Black Imperial Stout

DETROIT, Mich. — When it comes to craft beer, barrel aged is all the rage in 2018. Atwater Brewery’s just released, limited edition VJ Black Imperial Stout promises to add to the demand.

Boasting complex flavors of vanilla and coffee with more prominent bourbon and oak edges, VJ Black Imperial Stout (ABV: 11%) will be a perfect fall brew for beer aficionados to accompany a hearty steak, a good cigar or just relaxing in front of a fireplace after Thanksgiving dinner. But they’d better get it fast. Only 40 barrels of the new limited-run brew will be available after the unique year-long aging process.

In addition to being sold at key retailers, VJ Black Imperial Stout will be offered at Atwater’s own venues — the Atwater Brewery & Tap House on Joseph Campeau, Atwater in the Park in Grosse Point Park, and Atwater Grand Rapids — beginning at 5:00 p.m. on Nov 15 with a special taping ceremony and limited over the counter sales of the four-pack bottles.

“We put a lot of effort and a lot of pride in this new stout. We gave our brewers license to experiment. We acquired just emptied Four Roses bourbon barrels and aged our stout in them for a full year to achieve the desired blend. The resulting liquid is absolutely amazing,” says Atwater owner Mark Rieth. “Amazing! Based on early reaction and robust pre-sales, we’ve already begun our next batch to increase availability even further.”

The brew is a derivative of Atwater’s Vanilla Java Porter, aged in Four Roses bourbon barrels to create a bold, full-bodied beer that warms you from the inside. The liquid was produced, aged and packaged in Atwater’s Detroit brewery, making it one of the only barrel aged beers produced entirely in Detroit.

The VJ Black will look as good as it tastes following Atwater’s tradition of specially created labels by Detroit artist Tony Roko. “I often create characters as if I were casting for a silent film. I try to capture the personality of the character, and the Atwater beer he or she represents, through color and expression,” said Roko.

Next up for the Detroit brewer will be a new barrel-aged Imperial Voodoovator in February. “Stay tuned,” says Rieth. “We’re just getting started! At Atwater, we’re best known for our approachable lagers and ales, however, these barrel-aged products showcase our brewing expertise and offer unique, innovative and fresh products in a growing craft beer niche.”

Learn more at

About Atwater Brewery

Atwater Brewery. Born in Detroit. Raised Everywhere. Atwater offers 40 styles of beer led by its popular Purple Gang Pilsner, Better Life Choices IPA, Vanilla Java Porter, Dirty Blonde and its “World Beer Cup” award-winning Decadent Dark Chocolate Ale. Atwater distributes its beer to 21 states plus select international markets and offers a proprietary line of craft spirits. Atwater operates three full-service tap house and biergarten locations in Detroit, Grosse Pointe and Grand Rapids, MI. Find us on Facebook or visit

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