Ridgeway Imperial Barleywine

Ridgeway England

What is it that makes Barley Wine into Imperial Barley Wine?
Firstly many English barley wines would have an alcohol content of only 8% and 9% would be the usual maximum. There are exceptions to this of course but at 10.0 % Ridgeway Imperial Barley is a little stronger.

Ridgeway Imperial Barley is substantially more bitter than a regular barley wine. This allows for loss of bitterness during the ageing processes but also there is a new kind of customer that embraces the extreme bitterness of some American beers and who will appreciate Imperial Barley as a fresh beer. The difference in our beer is that you do not have to have a face full of citrus fruit as well as this bitterness.

To complement the increase bitterness Imperial Barley is also dry hopped with whole hops for an extended period of conditioning in tank. One of the interesting things about dry hopping is that it releases into beer substances which are not important right away but which develop with age and help keep a hop driven beer alive as it gets older.

There is a strong family theme across all three of our Imperial beers. They all use the same Henley on Thames ale yeast strain and yeast is a major driver of flavour in strong beers. They are all dry hopped with English whole hops, even though this would be considered unusual for an Imperial Russian Stout. They all undergo a lengthy period of conditioning in tank prior to bottling in the same way that a very traditional lager used to do.

For all of the Imperial beers we have used the same unusual technique of tiered fermentation using three separate small brews per beer. The first brew is pitched with yeast and proceeds normally. At about half way through it is “dropped” into a second much larger fermenter and the second small brew is added on top. When this in turn is about half way fermented the third small brew is added. The reason to do this is to increase the proportion of time that the yeast spends fermenting optimally with neither extreme levels of sugar or alcohol.

Style: Barley Wine

ABV: 10.00%

Packaging: limited 330ml bottles

Brewer Website: http://www.ridgewaybrewery.co.uk/

Other Beers by Ridgeway