TORONTO, ON – Innis & Gunn has announced the launch of new and consistent packaging for all of its brands, as well as a return to using barrels for the aging of its core beers, albeit with a slight twist from the usual process.
Up until 2010, all Innis & Gunn beers were aged in oak barrels – usually first-fill bourbon – which were used once before being discarded. At that point the popularity of Innis & Gunn Original had grown so much that not enough barrels were available to continue with this process, which lead to the development of the “Oakerator”, a special maturation tank where the beer was aged on oak chips before bottling.
Under the new process, core brands such as Original and the new Blood Red Sky – a rum barrel red ale coming to Canada later this year – are now being aged as follows:
Through this new method, barrels (which could include bourbon, rum or Irish whiskey) are broken down and the staves then broken into pieces. The pieces are toasted to open up the wood, unlocking layers of incredible flavours and aromas. The barrel pieces are then placed into the ‘amplifier’ – an updated iteration of the ‘oakerator’ – and the beer is circulated through it to achieve the rich depth of flavour that the barrel brings to the beer. To-date, the brewing team has discovered five different ‘toast’ levels, each of which brings a unique flavour to the finished brew.
The brewery also notes that limited edition Innis & Gunn beers “which often require lengthy maturations, or have fruits or hops added to develop maximum flavour” will continue to be aged in full barrels.
The new packaging for all Innis & Gunn brands will be available across Canada in coming weeks.