New Belgium Brewing and Beam Suntory’s Knob Creek Bourbon to Release Oakspire Bourbon Barrel Ale

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – New Belgium Brewing and Knob Creek Bourbon are proud to announce the launch of Oakspire Bourbon Barrel Ale, a 9 percent ABV, special collaboration featuring breakthrough technology to create an entirely new style of bourbon barrel ale. Bringing together Knob Creek and New Belgium’s shared passion for innovation and dedication to hard-earned flavor, Oakspire Bourbon Barrel Ale is a highly-drinkable bourbon-inspired ale which uses Knob Creek Bourbon-soaked oak spirals and barrel char to impart big, full flavor into New Belgium’s high rye base ale.

“We could have simply barrel-aged some ale, or rested beer on barrel staves, but that wouldn’t have given us the amazing freshness and flavor of Oakspire Bourbon Barrel Ale,” said Ross Koenigs, Research and Development Brewer at New Belgium. “Our Brewhouse team likes to say that we didn’t just develop a custom extraction technology, but rather, a beer-flavoring ‘missile,’ and we’re thrilled to present our newest, innovative venture with the launch of Oakspire Bourbon Barrel Ale.”

To bring this new offering to life, New Belgium’s engineers created a steel, missile-shaped vessel to provide a delivery system where Knob Creek Bourbon-soaked oak spirals and char from used Knob Creek Bourbon barrels mingled with – and added robust flavors to – New Belgium’s high rye ale. This three-part flavor extraction process first included the harvesting of barrel char – the caramelized wood sugars, which contribute sweet brown sugar and caramel notes to the beer – from used Knob Creek barrels. Rounding out the bourbon character in the beer are the Knob Creek Bourbon-soaked oak spirals, which were toasted in varying degrees and added in a custom blend to infuse secondary flavors of oak and spice into the liquid. The custom steel, missile-shaped vessel itself contained the bourbon-soaked spirals and barrel char so they could flavor the beer as it matured. The result is a beautiful, full-flavored amber bourbon ale with notes of caramel, vanilla and toasted oak.

Both founded just over 25 years ago, Knob Creek Bourbon and New Belgium are largely credited with pioneering the small batch movements in their respective industries, introducing the world to full-flavored liquids born of premium ingredients and traditions. Both have remained true to those founding principles since their introduction.

“My dad, Booker Noe, created Knob Creek Bourbon more than 25 years ago to restore the standards of what great bourbon ought to be – full of big flavor, and crafted with patience and hard work,” said Fred Noe, Beam Family Seventh Generation Master Distiller. “I’m thrilled to introduce this newest innovation in partnership with our friends at New Belgium, and to bring together the best of our hard work, dedication to big flavor and shared love of innovation, with the introduction of Oakspire Bourbon Barrel Ale. I hope bourbon and beer drinkers alike will have the opportunity to enjoy our latest offering.”

Oakspire Bourbon Barrel Ale was brewed and bottled with the following characteristics:

  • ABV: 9%
  • IBU: 20
  • Yeast: Ale
  • Hops: Nugget, HBC 472
  • Malts: Pale, Munich, Caramel 80, Rye, Roasted Barley
  • Special Ingredients: Knob Creek Bourbon soaked oak spirals and char from used Knob Creek bourbon barrels
  • Availability: Nationwide in mid-September 2018 in both 12 oz. bottles and on draft, while supplies last

For more information about Oakspire Bourbon Barrel Ale, visit or

About New Belgium Brewing

New Belgium Brewing, makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a host of Belgian-inspired beers, is recognized as one of Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work, one of the Wall Street Journal’s Best Small Businesses and tops Bicycling Magazine’s Best Companies for Cyclists. The 100% employee-owned brewery is a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Business as designated by the League of American Bicyclists, one of World Blu’s most democratic U.S. businesses, and a Certified B Corp. In addition to Fat Tire Amber Ale, New Belgium brews fourteen year-round beers: Citradelic Tangerine IPA, Fat Tire Belgian White, The Hemperor HPA, Voodoo Ranger IPA, Voodoo Ranger Imperial IPA, Voodoo Ranger Juicy Haze IPA, Sour Saison, Honey Orange Tripel, Dayblazer Easygoing Ale, 1554 Black Lager, Bohemian Pilsner, Abbey Belgian Style Ale, Trippel and a gluten-reduced beer, Glutiny Pale Ale. To learn more, visit and follow the brewery on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. 

About Knob Creek Bourbon

Part of the original small batch collection from Kentucky, Knob Creek has set the standard for super-premium bourbon for more than 25 years, crafting an extraordinary full-flavored bourbon with a rich taste. Introduced in 1992 by founding distiller, Booker Noe, who pioneered the small batch bourbon movement, all Knob Creek expressions are bottled in unique flask-shaped packaging, and are patiently aged in new, maximum charred American Oak barrels. No matter the expression, Knob Creek’s hard-earned flavor is crafted without shortcuts,  and upholds the standards for what great whiskey ought to be, In recent years, Knob Creek has expanded its portfolio, introducing Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve Bourbon (120 proof/60% alcohol by volume) in 2011, Knob Creek Straight Rye Whiskey (100 proof/50% alcohol by volume) in 2012, Knob Creek Single Barrel Select Rye Whiskey (115 proof/57.5% alcohol by volume) and Knob Creek Cask Strength Rye Whiskey, a limited-edition offering, (119.6 proof/ 59.8% alcohol by volume) in 2018. To learn more, visit and follow the brand on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Beam Suntory Inc.

As the world’s third largest premium spirits company, Beam Suntory is Crafting the Spirits Brands that Stir the World.  Consumers from all corners of the globe call for the company’s brands, including the iconic Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbon brands and Suntory whisky Kakubin, as well as world renowned premium brands including Knob Creek bourbon, Yamazaki, Hakushu and Hibiki Japanese whiskies, Teacher’s, Laphroaig, and Bowmore Scotch whiskies, Canadian Club whisky, Courvoisier cognac, Hornitos and Sauza tequila, EFFEN and Pinnacle vodka, Sipsmith gin, and Midori liqueur.  

Beam Suntory was created in 2014 by combining the world leader in bourbon and the pioneer in Japanese whisky to form a new company with a deep heritage, passion for quality, innovative spirit and commitment to Growing for Good.  Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Beam Suntory is a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings Limited of Japan.  For more information on Beam Suntory, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility, please visit and Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, 50-60% Alc./Vol. 

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