Roll Out the Beer Barrel 

"Our brew tanks have arrived and we'll be finishing up our tap room and the brew house operations in the next couple weeks."

Barrel-aged beer is having a heyday.

Laurie Pearman

Barrel-aged beer is having a heyday.

Barrel aged beer is having a heyday. From imperial stouts to barleywines, brewers are aging their beers in oak barrels in order to impart a range of complex flavors. While old bourbon barrels can add rich vanilla and caramel notes to chocolatey stouts, old red wine barrels can be a great match for Belgian-style brews.

Though a number of local breweries have been experimenting with barrel aging, Barbarian Brewing is choosing to focus on it. Located at 5270 Chinden Blvd. in Garden City, Barbarian will produce Belgian- and European-style sour ales, imperial ales and other beers aged two-18 months in oak barrels or stainless steel vessels. Barbarian will also brew non-oak aged beers that will be kegged and distributed around town. If you'd like to get a jump on the barrel-aged action, Barbarian is now offering a limited number of 2015 Memberships.

"We have launched the Barbarian Brewing 2015 Membership which will operate similar to a wine club membership where members receive limited release bottles, receive discounts on purchases and gain access to 'members-only' beers in our tap room," wrote co-founder/business manager BreAnne Hovley via email.

The $150 membership includes two 750 ml bottles of four different barrel-aged beers, which could potentially include a bourbon barrel imperial stout, a merlot barrel aged ale with spices or a chardonnay barrel saison. Members will also receive two Barbarian Brewing Belgian beer glasses, access to members-only tap handles, 10 percent off Barbarian Brewing tap room purchases and two invitations to the Barbarian Brewing opening celebration. Though the brewery hasn't set an exact opening date yet, Hovley said they're "getting closer."

"Our brew tanks have arrived and we'll be finishing up our tap room and the brew house operations in the next couple weeks," she wrote. For more info, visit barbarianbrewing.com.

In other brews news, Boise hop heads are once again organizing the Hop Moon Hop Trip. On Saturday, Sept. 19 at 10:30 a.m. busses will depart from Bier:Thirty and Bittercreek Alehouse and head to Gooding and Jackson Hop Farms. Archie's Place will be on site serving sloppy joes, while Odell Brewing Co., Woodland Empire Ale Craft and Payette Brewing Co. will supply hoppy beers. Local brewers will be available to talk hop shop while their beers are run through a Randall filter with freshly picked hops. Tickets are $30 per person and include beer, food and transportation; but they are limited and must be purchased in advance—tickets are available in person at Bier:Thirty (3073 S. Bown Way) and Bittercreek Alehouse (246 N. Eighth St.). For more info, visit the Hop Moon Hop Trip Facebook event page.

Also on Saturday, Sept. 19, Payette Brewing Co. is hosting a more formal beer event dubbed Dinner on Eighth Street.

"We will be closing down Eighth Street downtown between West Idaho West Bannock St. to host Boise's biggest beer dinner ... Tables and chairs will be set up on the street for a fine dining experience under the stars," Payette's Paige Coyle wrote in an email.

Payette is partnering with nearby restaurants Bittercreek Alehouse, Juniper, The Matador and Saint Lawrence Gridiron to serve eight unique courses paired with their beers. Dinner starts at 6 p.m. and tickets are $100 per person. For more info, visit payettebrewing.splashthat.com.

Speaking of street eats, a new food truck called Waffle Addiction recently opened in the parking lot near Fairview Avenue and Five Mile Road. Owned by Mary Casiano, the 12-foot, cedar-clad trailer specializes in waffles of all kinds.

"It's me sharing my love of waffles and food with people," said Casiano.

In addition to sweet treats like Strawberry Belgian waffles with dark chocolate and whipped cream, Casiano also serves savory options like Fried Chicken and Waffles with country gravy.

"I have a stuffed Italian pizza waffle," said Casiano. "One of the irons I have makes the waffles about 7 inches long. ... It's an Italian-based waffle mix that I use—it's got oregano, basil and garlic in it—and then I put chopped pepperoni and mozzarella in there. ... When it cooks up it turns into this crispy, giant pizza and I serve it with marinara."

Other Waffle Addiction creations combine sweet and savory flavors, like the Maple Bacon Waffle, a long Belgian topped with a maple glaze and chopped bacon.

"Another popular sweet one is called the Cinnamon Bun and it's also the long waffle and it's got cinnamon crystals in it and then little bits of cream cheese throughout it," said Casiano. "When it cooks up it kind of reminds me of cinnamon spice cake and then I cover it in a cream cheese white chocolate. A lot of people like to get the Pizza Waffle and then the Cinnamon Bun for dessert."

Waffle Addiction is currently open Tuesday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more info, visit facebook.com/waffleaddiction.

Looking to break into the food business yourself? Trailhead Boise is hosting a special discussion Thursday, Aug. 27 at 5:30 p.m. titled "How to Start a Food Company." The event will feature panelists Meg Carlson, president and CEO of Prosperity Organic Foods; Janine Zacca Zenner, founder of Zacca Hummus; Joshua Bevan, director at the University of Idaho Food Technology Center; and Kelly Parker, director of sales and community engagement at Create Common Good. In addition to a Q&A with these panelists, attendees will also have an opportunity to meet and mingle with other food entrepreneurs following the discussion.

Tickets are $10 per person, or free for Trailhead members. Find more info at trailheadboise.org.

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