Innis & Gunn, the Scotland brewery known for oak aging all of its beer, has announced a beer that is oak aged via the very bottle it is packaged in. Its flagship beer, Original, will be bottle in sold oak bottles.
“It was quite incredible,” said CEO Dougal Sharp. “In that moment, I knew exactly what I needed to do – it was a calling. We’re exploring new frontiers here, going where no other brewer has gone before: putting our best-selling beer in solid oak bottles and letting it mature on shelf! To be honest, anyone these days can release a beer matured in oak barrels, so this is really ground-breaking stuff.”
Back on California’s West Coast, Stone Brewing’s innovative Stochasticity Project was brewing up something unique with their Cr(He)am Ale. Beer is regularly brewed with carbon dioxide and nitrogen and looking to push the limits, the team at Stone turned towards helium.
Stone Quality Assurance Supervisor Rick Blankemeier first came up with the idea for a helium-infused beer after playing around with nitro beers and thought, “What would happen if helium was added to a beer?” The idea was presented to Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele, who at first assumed it couldn’t be done. After a brief science lesson from Rick, Mitch decided it was worth a try and the beer would be perfect for the Stone Stochasticity Project.
“I think Mitch thought I had been drinking too much of the beer when I went to him with my idea of a helium ale,” said Blankemeier. “I’m really pleased with this beer. The hop aroma punches you in the nose and there is a slight tingle in the back of the throat that is unique to this brew. The ale provides the drinker with a distinctive sensory experience.”
“This beer is tasty and very strange, but in a good way,” explains Steele. “I’ve never experienced the tingly feeling in the back of my throat that the helium addition provides. I think our fans are really going to like this, and we look forward to brewing other unique beers for the Stochasticity Project.”
Name: Stone Stochasticity Project Cr(He)am Ale with Helium
Stats: 4.1% ABV, 75 IBUs
Availability: Limited 16-ounce cans, beginning April 1
Hops Bill: Willamette and Fuggles, dry-hopped with Helga
Special addition: Helium
Distribution: AK, AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, and WA