In an effort to grow our wood cellar and specialty brand program, we recently expanded our barrel facility with additional equipment in January 2019. We added three foeders as well as a state-of-the-art bottling line to our original location in downtown Athens.
The three foeders were imported from a winery in Sardinia and refurbished by an Italian cooper. We’re utilizing the additional tanks to increase the quality as well as the output of specialty brands. The bottling line we recently added is a GAI MLE 661 BIER model coming from Italy. The line is capable of packaging 500mL, 750mL, and 1500mL formats, and packages 750mL bottles at a rate of 1000 bottles/hour (still) and 700 bottles/hour (sparkling).
“Expanding our barrel facility allows us to work more closely with local farms to innovate and reflect our region with flavor,” said Wood Cellar & Specialty Brand Manager Blake Tyers. “We look forward to growing the program and continuing on this journey of curiosity and exploration.”
We’re now preparing for the release of several offerings from the program. Consumers can expect new brands, Pearson and Curious #12, in addition to the return of Existence as the next releases from the wood cellar and specialty brand program.
Pearson is a fruited ale aged in oak barrels that showcases locally sourced peaches from Fort Valley, Georgia's Pearson Farms. We worked with “the Peach Guru” John Short of Georgia Proud Provisions to select the Elberta peach, the original king peach of Georgia, to feature in the 2018 vintage. We then determined select barrels to create a blend that honors the flavors of the chosen peach variety. We packaged and conditioned the beer in 500mL bottles. Pearson is 6.5% ABV and will be available from our tasting room on March 30.
We developed Curious #12 from a previous release from our wood cellar, River Ridge Black. Once River Ridge Black finished conditioning on top of organic black raspberries and black currants, we transferred a portion of the beer to a port barrel where it aged for eight months. Curious #12 is a part of our Curious Series that we utilize to explore new techniques, flavors, and ingredients. The beer is 8.1% ABV and will be available in a limited amount of 500mL bottles.
Existence  is a bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout aged for 23 months. This version of the stout is 13.7% ABV and intense yet balanced with a firm structure and viscous body. We first released the brand in May 2016, and the beer served as the first bourbon barrel-aged stout the brewery ever produced. Existence was built to age and develop over time into a refined and well-balanced offering.
We hope you’ll join us in our tasting room on March 30 for the Pearson release and stay tuned for more information on upcoming releases from our wood cellar!