Belgian Dark Strong Ale with Cherries
Catawba has cemented its reputation among the pioneers of barrel-aged beers in North Carolina. Our Barrel Program was first introduced in 2000, when Whiskey River IPA proved to be a revelation to the local beer scene. Interestingly, it all started as a matter of necessity. In the early days, our fledgling brewery couldn’t afford big stainless steel storage tanks or kegs, so we used cheap Jack Daniels barrels instead. The unique flavors imparted by the repurposed oak barrels were extremely well received, and inspired further explorations.
Fast forward 19 years, and our Barrel Program has expanded tremendously from its humble beginnings. We now have an extensive line-up of barrel-aged offerings, with Catawba beer aging in a vast assortment of barrels that previously contained wine and spirits. Today, our brewers utilize advanced techniques of secondary fermentation and blending to achieve desired flavor profiles. From sour fruit beers to wild ales, and wine barrel saisons to bourbon barrel stouts, our Barrel Program has produced many of Catawba’s most rare and sought-after beers.
Until last fall, these premium releases were only available as specialty draft offerings. But in celebration of the longest-running Barrel Program in the state, we opened the doors to a new chapter in its illustrious history with a series of packaged releases. Barrel-Aged Series beers are numbered sequentially in 16oz cans and 500mL bottles, and feature original label art by Catawba’s resident artist, Darion Fleming.
Release Date: October 19, 2019
Beer: Abbey-style Grand Cru, aged for 12 months, and conditioned on Bing cherries
Barrels: Third-use oak barrels previously filled with Kentucky bourbon
Sensory: Fig, plum, molasses, clove, candy grape, sweet cherry, bourbon