ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Best known for its classic Scotch Ale, Rohrbach Brewing Co. masters the darker side of beer. Malt-forward ales like Vanilla Porter, Griddle Cakes, and Instruments of Darkness Milk Stout have become local favorites. Now, Rohrbachs is taking this trademark a step further with a new product line: barrel-aged beers.
While most craft beers are ready to drink after just a few weeks in a stainless steel conditioning tank, that’s not the case for barrel aging. These robust ales age in oak barrels anywhere from a month to a full year depending on the qualities a brewer aims to achieve. Not only does oak aging add flavors like vanilla, caramel, and molasses to the beer, it increases the alcohol content. Barrel aging takes both time and craft for a quality product well worth the wait.
Rohrbachs will namely use bourbon barrels for this program. With so many quality distilleries in the area, Rohrbachs looks forward to keeping this venture local.
Rohrbach brewer Joel Will is taking the lead on Rohrbach’s barrel aging program. Will, who currently runs brewing operations at the Buffalo Rd. location, has been with the company for nine years. Brewing will take place at the same Buffalo Rd. brew system and aging will take place in a new facility on the property, which is now under construction. Though dedicated to this program, the new barn will also provide other potential such as small events or outdoor dining.
The choice to run this program on the brewery’s smaller 7-barrel system is an intentional one. Smaller batches allow for more creative recipes, premium ingredients, and more frequent releases. Rohrbachs plans to release its very first barrel-aged ale in early Spring of 2021. These brews will be available at Rohrbach locations and select area retailers in limited quantities. Stay tuned for further updates at rohrbachs.com or on the brewery’s social media channels.
The Rochester area continues to impress in the world of craft beer. With award-winning breweries moving in, local staples perfecting their craft, and the industry growing, it’s a great place to be if you enjoy a good beer.
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