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The Rare Barrel
March 15, 2018 | The Rare Barrel

The Next Search for The Rare Barrel | Barrel N6Z

Long story short... We conducted our first Search for The Rare Barrel back in September of 2016 and found Barrel p9t. Over the course of 3 days, our friends along with some of our Ambassadors of Sour participated in an extensive tasting of our barrel house in order to find the best barrel of beer...aka “The Rare Barrel.” Well, the time has come for us to conduct our second Search for The Rare Barrel this April! We’re changing it up a little so make sure to check out more info below.
Long story long... our namesake, The Rare Barrel, and The Search for The Rare Barrel, is inspired by the epic story of pH1. pH1 is an oak barrel, and she was crafted in France from French oak in 1990. After a few years of housing wine, she found her way to New Belgium Brewing, where she was part of their original sour beer program. With Lauren Salazar as pH1’s shepherd at New Belgium, pH1 helped define the process and flavor profile of La Folie, an amazing and pioneering sour brown ale.  Around 2003, pH1 disappeared (or was secretly gifted, depending who you ask) to Vinnie Cilurzo at Russian River Brewing Company. While at Russian River, pH1 contributed to the first batches of Beatification, their spontaneously fermented beer, and spent the following 11 years contributing to their exceptional sours. When we heard this story about the travels of pH1 and her impact on these breweries, we were inspired by an idea… the idea that there is one barrel that stands out from the rest. There’s a rare barrel that houses an amazing, and possibly perfect, blend of yeast and bacteria. We named ourselves The Rare Barrel because of pH1.  Shortly after our first Search for The Rare Barrel, Barrel pH1 mysteriously showed up at our back door. No joke! We received an unexpected delivery at the back door of our warehouse and when the truck rolled up its door, Barrel pH1 sat there alone, waiting to call The Rare Barrel her next home. We were lucky enough to shepherd her for the next year and bottled a single barrel of her beer. She now has traveled on to her next journey, back with old friend Peter Bouckaert, one of her original shepherds at New Belgium Brewing and now at his own brewery Purpose Brewing. We are looking forward to continuing to follow her story while we continue to search for our very own rare barrel.
WHAT | The Search for The Rare Barrel will spanned 4 days. A group of our Ambassadors of Sour and some friends in the Industry  (a.k.a. The Search Party) tasted and ranked barrel samples throughout the final two days of The Search. We crunched the data from The Search Party to find the best barrels in our barrel house. Founders Jay Goodwin, Alex Wallash, and Brad Goodwin tasted through the selected best barrels from The Search and, from those, select The Rare Barrel 2018, barrel N6Z.
TOP TEN TO THE RARE BARREL 2018 | The top 10 oak barrels selected from The Search for The Rare Barrel were blended along with a splash of The Rare Barrel 2018 (the majority of The Rare Barrel 2018 will be used to ferment future batches) and bottled on Wednesday, May 2nd 2018.
N6Z (The Rare Barrel 2018)


Scott Bauer's Gravatar
Scott Bauer
@ May 4, 2018 at 4:07 PM
Many thanks for putting together another great "Search Party" guys! While my session didn't have N6Z in it, glad to see we had three of our eight beers make the top 10!

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