When we were brainstorming our approach for our anniversary single barrel picks late last year, one of the breweries we hoped to work with is Werk Force Brewing, a brewery co-owned and operated by Brandon and Amanda Wright since 2014.
We were thrilled when they invited us to their new Barrel Den to select a barrel of their Sleepy Bear imperial stout for our Lockport location’s 2nd anniversary. Much like our single barrel picks with Revolution Brewing and Mikerphone Brewing this year, this single barrel pick was our favorite of the all the barrel samples we tasted.
Long time TOB fans may remember we collaborated with Werk Force to brew a graf-style ale called Gravity Research, and we also released a barrel-aged version a year later. With seven FOBAB medals under their roof, Werk Force is not unfamiliar with the barrel aging process, to say the least.
With gloves on and drills fully charged, owner and head of brewing operations, Brandon Wright showed us how to extract samples from five different barrels, ranging from Heaven Hill bourbon barrels to Kentucky Peerless Rye Whiskey barrels.
After much tasting and debate, we found an absolute winner – a barrel of Kentucky Peerless Rye Whiskey hidden in the dark corner of the Barrel Den slowly aging Sleepy Bear imperial stout for 16 months. With its rich, velvety notes of dark chocolate, molasses, and rye spicy-ness, we know everyone is going to love this special version of Werk Force’s Sleepy Bear!
About The Beer
Single barrel expression of Sleepy Bear imperial stout aged in Kentucky Peerless Rye whiskey barrels for 16 months. Picked by The Open Bottle. 13.0% ABV
2023 Rye Barrel Aged Sleepy Bear will be exclusively available on draft at The Open Bottle Lockport during our 2 Year Anniversary Party on Saturday, February 18th at 12pm. We will also have a very limited amount of 375ml bottles for sale.
Preorders for 375ml bottles of 2023 Rye Barrel Aged Sleepy Bear will also be available on our online store on Saturday, February 11th at 10am. Pickups for these preorders will start at 12pm on Sunday, February 19th at our Lockport location.
To Brandon, Amanda, Jake, Jason, and the rest of the Werk Force crew for a great day of learning, sampling, hospitality…