New Belgium Brewing and Four Roses Distillery has announced the highly anticipated 2023 release of Oakspire Bourbon Barrel Ale – a pioneering, and highly distinctive beer brewed using a custom-built, proprietary infusion method which pulls flavors from bourbon-steeped charred oak sourced from Four Roses’ barrels and marries it with a malty sweet, deep amber ale.
First released by New Belgium in 2018, Oakspire quickly became a favorite among beer and bourbon lovers alike. This year, seeking to up the ante with innovation and world-class bourbon flavors, the brewery collaborated with Four Roses Bourbon, known for their smooth, fruit forward and slightly spicy bourbons, to invent a brewing process that would represent the best of both beverages.
“As we bring back our collaboration with Four Roses, Oakspire returns with new packaging that offers the consumer a premium experience,” said Jared Spagnola, Emerging Brands Manager at New Belgium Brewing. “Every year as we approach the holidays, we look forward to Oakspire season. Whether you’re a beer or bourbon fan, it’s the perfect complement for slowing down with family & friends.”
How exactly are those signature flavors extracted? To start, over the course of a year, Four Roses collects charred oak chips from inside their bourbon barrels as they are emptied. This process enables Four Roses to re-use the char derived from the brand’s barrels in a sustainable manner. These oak chips contain caramelized wood sugars, which add color and notes of brown sugar, caramel, and toffee to the whiskey while it ages.
Next, a barrel maker in Minnesota toasts a custom blend of oak spirals which are then soaked in Four Roses’ bourbon. Meanwhile, New Belgium’s world-class brewing engineers construct a series of custom, stainless-steel vessels to hold the charred oak and wood spirals. New Belgium’s high-rye base ale then circulates through the vessels during maturation, infusing the flavor from the charred oak and bourbon-soaked spirals, resulting in a stunning, one-of-a-kind bourbon ale with a cult following.
“Four Roses and New Belgium make for great partners because we both are committed to our craft and our own processes, and New Belgium’s innovative approach brings the result of our individual crafts together perfectly,” said Four Roses Chief Operating Officer, Ryan Ashley. “Oakspire takes a different approach from the traditional bourbon barrel ale that brings the rich Four Roses flavor notes forward in quite a remarkable way.”
Pricing & Availability: Oakspire Bourbon Barrel Ale is available for purchase for $14.99
at select retailers across the country, New Belgium Brewing taprooms and the Four Roses
Distillery Visitor Center in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. For more information on Oakspire Bourbon
Barrel Ale, visit newbelgium.com. To find the nearest Oakspire Bourbon Barrel Ale or any of
New Belgium’s other offerings, visit our beer finder.
Oakspire Bourbon Barrel Ale was brewed and bottled with the following characteristics:
- Alcohol: 9%
- Style: Bourbon Barrel Ale
- Hops: Nugget, Sabro
- Malt: Pale, Munich, Caramel 80, Rye, Roasted Barley
- Visual: Deep Amber
- Flavor and aroma: Expect notes of toffee, vanilla, caramel, and hints of coconut and dark fruit
About New Belgium Brewing
New Belgium Brewing was founded in 1991 in Fort Collins, Colo., by Kim Jordan, a social worker, who built her company the only way a social worker would: People first. Over the past three decades, New Belgium has turned that ethos into a unique Human-Powered Business model through practices that were and still are rare in the business world: fully paid healthcare premiums for coworkers who need the support, living wage compensation, open-book management, renewable energy sourcing, a free onsite medical clinic and physician, a deep
commitment to philanthropy and advocacy, and much more.
With expansions to Asheville, N.C., in 2016; Denver, Colo., in 2018; San Francisco in 2021; Daleville, Va.,in 2023; and the 2021 acquisition of Bell’s Brewery, based in Kalamazoo, Mich., this people-centric model has led New Belgium to become the most popular and fastest-growing American craft brewer today. New Belgium is famous for Fat Tire Ale and Voodoo Ranger IPA (America’s #1 IPA brand), along with year-round favorites like Dominga Mimosa Sour, La Folie Sour Brown Ale, an award-winning wood-aged sour program, and the addition of Bell’s iconic brands including Two Hearted IPA and Oberon Ale.
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