New consumers are drinking different wines than the previous one: young consumers prefer drink light and fruity wine rather than oaky ones.
So winemakers are starting to reduce the level of oak in their wines. To do so, larger barrels such as 300L, 400L, and larger, instead of 225L, bring a real benefit to the wine.
But after 4 or 5 years, they are not used by the wineries anymore.
What happens to them next?
Craft brewers are keen of these large barrels. Especially the ones producing sour beers.
Sour are spontaneous fermentation beers. Meaning the beer is stored in oak barrels (or cool ships) left open while fermenting.
Fermentation is allowed by the presence of wild yeasts and bacteria – such as Lactobacillus – in the brewery. The result is a beer with a distinctive acidity, due to the presence of lactic acid.
Once fermented, the beer can maturate in the barrels for years before being bottled
Among Sour Beers you certainly know the following main styles: Lambic, Berliner Weisse, Oud Bruin, or Flanders Red Ale, …
Once at the brewery the barrels can be used for years. And each and every cask will give a single result.
But large barrels are not the easy ones to find on the used casks markets, indeed, 225L barrels remain a standard in wine production.
To prevent this lack of barrels, H&A offers to its partners to possibility to secure their supply.
Indeed, our quality chart allows us to identify the relevant batches, to reserve them in advance, and enables us to provide the same quality of barrels every year.