In Educational Series, News

Springdale Director Joe Connolly discusses the 2019 release of Maple Brigadeiro, our decadent double barrel-aged breakfast stout.

Wood has always been an omnipresent accompaniment to the human experience, whether it be providing shelter, heat, or simply comfort. At the Barrel Room, we’re most obsessed with how wood can also provide flavor and “season” in beer, layering unique sensory impressions, colors, and aromas that are impossible to replicate otherwise.

There’s no better example of this than the dark and decadent Maple Barrel-Aged Brigadeiro.

Brigadeiro, or “Brig,” for short, is inspired by our love for the Brazilian treat of the same name. This roasty stout is brewed with cacao nibs, locally sourced coffee, and lactose. For our barrel-aged version, we age a portion of the base stout in wet bourbon barrels fresh from a distillery. These impart huge vanilla and coconut flavors of wood and whiskey, as well as some serious “heat” from the higher alcohol. A second portion of the stout is aged in ex-bourbon, ex-maple syrup barrels were last used to make bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup. These unique barrels impart far less “heat” than the bourbon barrels, while leaving behind a subtle richness and maple-y sweetness that offsets the intensity of the blend.

After about three months of aging, we find the balance point between all the barrels and create a master blend. We then condition the barrel blend on cacao nibs and Brazilian roast coffee from our friends at Red Barn Coffee Roasters in Acton, MA. This late stage addition allows those flavors to shine their brightest, rather than be obscured by all the barrel contact.

Maple Barrel-Aged Brigadeiro pulls layers and layers of flavor out of the wood over its extended aging, rounding out its mouthfeel and balancing the natural richness of the base stout with barrel, wood, and spirit spice, all anchored by a bold 8.5% ABV. While each individual element of this beer plays its own part, the sum of these parts is truly greater.

Maple Brig is a special release we look forward to every year, and we’re excited to once again share it with you. Take your time over a glass and see where this one takes you. Cheers!