Lucky Lab's Barleywine & Big Beer Fest: How Big is Big?


Lucky Lab’s Beer Hall on NW Quimby will host a Barleywine and Big Beer Tastival on March 4 -5 (from noon - 10 pm).  Here’s a description of Barleywines from the Home Brewing Wiki:

"Barley Wine or Barleywine is a style of strong, sweet ale originating in England in the nineteenth century.  Barley wine is characterized by a high level of alcohol, often 10% ABV or more, a similar level to wine. It often features strong flavors of sherry and dark fruit and a complex sweet malt character, with little or no hops. Barley wine is often aged for a year or more, and is sometimes therefore labeled with a vintage, similar to wine. Barrel aging is common, as well as unusual flavors created during long fermentations. Wine yeast is sometimes used to achieve higher alcohol content than is possible with traditional ale yeast.”

Barleywines have more alcohol than other beer styles, in general.  But how much more?  I thought it would be interesting to compare the alcohol content of the Barleywine & Big Beer Tastival's brews with those served at the most recent Oregon Brewers and Holiday Ale Festivals.  In addition to being a beer geek, I’m also a data geek (my real job), so please indulge me... 

I collected data that included each of the beers served at the three festivals and their alcohol content.  I then plugged into into my nerdy statistical analysis tool, and it cranked out this chart:



So what does this tell us?  The three festivals (Barleywine & Big Beer, Holiday Ale Fest, and Oregon Brewers Fest) are listed on the bottom of the chart.  ABV % is shown on the left side.  Each of the dots represents a different beer.  You can see that, as a group, OBF beers have the least amount of alcohol and B&BB brews have the most.  More precisely:

Average ABV%:
Barleywine & Big Beer Fest = 9.9%
Holiday Ale Fest = 8.4%
Oregon Brewers Fest = 6.2%

Alcohol Range (minimum & maximum):
Barleywine & Big Beer Fest = 8.2% - 12.5%
Holiday Ale Fest = 6.1% - 11.0%
Oregon Brewers Fest = 4.8% - 9.5%


For the poindexters out there, the differences are statistically significant.  So what does this mumbo-jumbo mean to you?
  1. There will be no "light" beers at the Barleywine & Big Beer Fest.
  2. Hydrate and eat before, during, and after the event.
  3. Pace yourself.  Remember the turtle—not the hare, won the race.
  4. As always, use Tri-Met or have a designated driver.
  5. Have fun, and enjoy this unique opportunity to try some great beer!
The complete listing of beers is shown below (and subject to change).  To get a preview, check out Brewpublic’s excellent pre-event profile.  If you’re interested in volunteering on Saturday, please contact Ben Flerchinger


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VINTAGE
BREWERY
BEER
STYLE
%ABV
2008
ALASKAN
ROUGH DRAFT
BARLEYWINE
10.40
2010
ANCHOR
OLD FOGHORN
BARLEYWINE
9.40
2009
ANCHOR
OLD FOGHORN
BARLEYWINE
         8.80
2007
BUTTE CREEK
TRAIN WRECK
BARLEYWINE
       10.60
2009
DESCHUTES
MIRROR MIRROR
BARLEYWINE
         9.86
2010
EL TORO
500
BARLEYWINE
         9.30
2009
FLYING DOG
HORN DOG
BARLEYWINE
       10.20
2008
HOPWORKS
NOGGIN FLOGGIN
BARLEYWINE
         9.60
2009
LAGUNITAS
GNARLEY WINE
BARLEYWINE
         9.70
2008
LAHT NEPPUR
BLACKWATER
BARLEYWINE
       11.20
2008
LAURELWOOD
OLD RELIABLE
BARLEYWINE
       10.10
2007
LUCKY LAB
OLD YELLER
BARLEYWINE
       11.40
2010
LUCKY LAB
OLD YELLER
BARLEYWINE
       11.20
2009
LUCKY LAB
OLD YELLER
BARLEYWINE
       11.60
2009
LUCKY LAB
SON OF OLD YELLER 
BARLEYWINE
         9.20
2009
NEW OLD LOMPOC
OLD TAVERN RAT
BARLEYWINE
       11.00
2009
NINKASI
CRITICAL HIT
BARLEYWINE
       10.00
2009
NORTH COAST
OLD STOCK
BARLEYWINE
         9.40
2010
NORTH COAST
OLD STOCK
BARLEYWINE
       12.50
2009
OAKSHIRE
VERY ILL TEMPERED GNOME
BARLEYWINE
         9.50
2009
OLD MARKET PUB
HAMBONE
BARLEYWINE
       10.13
2008
ROUGE
OLD CRUSTATION
BARLEYWINE
       11.50
2009
SIERRA NEVADA
BIGFOOT
BARLEYWINE
         9.60
2010
S.O.B.
MRS. CLAUS
BARLEYWINE

2008
SPEAKEASY
OLD GODFATHER
BARLEYWINE
       10.20
2009
WALKING MAN
OLD STUMBLEFOOT
BARLEYWINE
       11.90
2008
WIDMER
OLD EMBALMER
BARLEYWINE
       11.00
2008
ALAMEDA
PAPA NOELS BBL AGED
WINTER WARMER
         8.50
2008
BARON
UBER WIESS
WIESS BIER
         8.20
2009
BUCKBEAN
VERY NODDY
IMPERIAL SCHWARZBIER
       10.50
2009
DOUBLE MT.
CHAOS STOUT
IMPERIAL STOUT
         9.50
2009
EEL RIVER
RAVEN EYE
IMPERIAL STOUT
       11.00
2010
FISH TAIL
TEN SQUARED
IPA
       10.00
2009
FISH TAIL
MONKFISH
BELGIAN TRIPPEL
         8.50
2008
LAUGHING DOG
ALPHA DOG
IMPERIAL IPA
         9.50
2009
LAUGHING DOG
DOGFATHER
IMPERIAL STOUT
       11.00
2008
NINKASI
SASQUATCH
STRONG ALE
         8.40
2010
OAKSHIRE
SASQUATCH
STRONG ALE
         9.30
2008
OAKSHIRE
SASQUATCH
STRONG ALE
         9.30
2008
ROGUE
RUSSIAN IMPERIAL STOUT
RUSSIAN IMPERIAL STOUT
       11.00
2009
SALMON CREEK
BROTHER LARRY
BELGIAN TRIPPEL
         8.40
2008
TERMINAL GRAVITY
FESTIVE ALE
BRITISH STRONG
         8.30
2009
TERMINAL GRAVITY
FESTIVE ALE
BRITISH STRONG
         8.30
2009
THREE CREEKS
RUDOLPH
IMPERIAL RED
         8.60
2008
ROCK BOTTOM
BBL AGED IMPERIAL STOUT
IMPERIAL STOUT
         9.43
2009
UPRIGHT 
JUST ANOTHER STRONG ALE
STRONG ALE
         8.75
2009
WIDMER
CXI COLLABORATOR
PUMPERNICKEL ALE
         8.50



10 comments:

  1. Awesome. Math posts are a great idea.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Bill! I expect math and beer will be the next big thing--just like beer and barrel aging. Just trying to get ahead of the curve.

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  3. I'm drink Sierra Nevada Bigfoot tonight. Nice!

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  4. Drinking. Sorry. It's the ABV.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Jeff, there is ALWAYS math. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. Thanks for the Twitter shout out!

    Mark, what did you think of Bigfoot? Did you buy a few extra to cellar? I need to taste that soon.

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  6. Not sure if I'm a cellaring type of guy. Do you think I should give it a whirl? Does it improve the flavor?

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  7. Mark, I'm no expert, but I believe high ABV, malt heavy beers age well. Over time you should expect to see the alcohol smooth out quite a bit. However, on the con side, the hops flavor is likely to diminish. I'm planning to age a few 12 oz bottles of Bigfoot. At $2 a bottle, it's a low risk way to try it out.

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  8. I'll try it. I'll leave one for the future. Any particular amount of time?

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think it's a bit of an experiment Mark. I'm patient, so I plan to wait at least a year.

    ReplyDelete

Thoughts? Tell me what you think.