It’s time to descend back into the cellar and bring out something special. Of course, I’m referring to the famed Ibex Cellar beneath the historic Schlafly Taproom in downtown St. Louis, where every few months something special emerges to tempt us.
The latest edition to the series is the Gin Barrel Sour Gruit (6.5% ABV). With a taste of tart, spice and an assertive arrangement of botanicals, the latest release showcases an innovative take on an ancient brewing process – a beer without hops. After brewing, the gruit is aged in gin barrels in the Ibex Cellar.
A combination of juniper, marigolds, chamomile, and lemon & orange peel help form the foundation of the brew. These spices and botanicals are added to the mash and at the end of the boil to showcase the best blend for the overall flavor profile. After the gruit has been brewed, it ages in gin barrels for nearly four months – infusing spice and warm notes of vanilla, caramel, oak and smoke into the brew.
“Our brewing team takes the unique flavor profile a step further by aging the gruit. This is the first time that we’ve experimented with aging in gin barrels, and the complementary botanical notes in the spirit of gin make for a perfect vessel to age the beer with a similar flavor profile,” says Founding Brewer Stephen Hale.
The “From the Ibex Cellar” collection was first launched in 2016, and this year’s series includes: Local Oak Ale, Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout, Imperial Coffee Stout, Barrel-Aged Saison, and one final release this winter.
Each carefully crafted brew has a unique character from the techniques, ingredients, and aging process it takes for creation. Like the others in this series, the glass bottle features an embossed majestic symbol of the Ibex and the packaging mimics the striking architecture of the Schlafly Tap Room’s building from the pitches and peaks to the arches that hold up the cellar below.