Hopper's Happy Hour: The Dreamer

Updated on  

Silly Little Dreamer…

When Grizzly Paw releases a barrel-aged beer, it’s hard to imagine the journey the beer has taken just from looking at the can, as pretty as it is.

Brewers have an unlimited number of techniques and tricks they can use during different stages of the brewing process. It’s a little bit of precedent and a little bit of experimentation that will determine which technique they will use.

With our most recent release "The Dreamer" the beer was conditioned in Chardonnay Wine barrels. Pretty cool.

“Conditioning” in the simplest terms is the process of carbonating beer. This step occurs naturally in beer making. Yeast will chew up sugars and a happy byproduct of that process is carbon dioxide… the stuff that makes the beer bubbly.

Wine barrels, and all barrels (think The Philosopher and bourbon barrels) are a vessel, but they are also an ingredient. A barrel is a living environment of microflorae that helps to create the beers that we want to taste. When brewing with wine barrels, brewers are not always looking for the characteristics of the wine that was once housed inside. If they wanted something that was heavy on the influence of the fruit, you’d get juice, must, crushed skins, purees or the raw ingredients; As was the case with The Dreamer. When beer is matured in wine barrels, sometimes the brewers are looking for the characteristics of the microflorae and the wood (IE Oak) of the barrel itself.

What you’re left with is an abundance of flavour. The stuff that dreams are made of.

Barrel conditioned for 9 weeks in Napa Valley Chardonnay barrels, this French Saison exhibits fruit forward aromas and a dry finish. Cherry, peach & pear purée were added during tertiary conditioning giving this beer orchard appeal.