Barleywine is back at Breakside this winter. The original apex predator of the beer world, Barleywines are high octane beers, ‘brewed to wine strength,’ that are meant for sipping and sharing in cold months. This winter, we will be releasing 6 different versions of LIFE, our traditional, 9.5% ABV barleywine. Each batch will feature specialty grains from a different maltster. We’ve selected some of the top British maltsters on the planet, companies whose products go into some of the world’s most renowned Scotches and beers, as well as some up-and-coming producers from our side of the Pond and built a batch around the nuances of their malts. For anyone who considers themselves a malt nerd, this makes each batch of LIFE a must-try.
As if that weren’t enough, the color and malt flavor profile of each batch will vary to follow the changing of the season. Expect an initial copper-colored toffee-forward release in late November followed by a slightly darker one, with notes of roasted nuts and macerated raisins, as we get closer to the Winter Solstice. As we progress towards the final batches in January, February, and March, each batch of LIFE will get progressively lighter in color again allowing the nuances of the paler malts to shine through. Life doesn’t come at you from just one angle, and neither does this barleywine– we are playing with maltster, flavor, and seasonal change all at once here folks!
Why embark on a barleywine project? Do we really think barleywine is the next IPA? Probably not, but this vaunted style deserves some time in the spotlight. It is rich, complex, approachable, and packs a punch that fits the season. Drink it a little warm and with low carbonation, and it might just change your life a little. It’s a beer for sharing with family and friends during the holidays and our shared float together down the atmospheric river that is a Northwest winter
Join us on this journey– the first steps, the wonder years, the angsty years, the adulting decades, the twilight years! We’ll be nerding out on each batch and adding brewers notes to the Breakside website throughout the release of LIFE, detailing the differences in malt and flavor profile amongst the batches. We hope you’ll nerd out with us!