Common Ales: Ft George- Cathedral Tree

Fort George's Cathedral Tree ale, in glass, with can, on table.

The can says “Barrel Aged Pilsner”.

However, it doesn’t say what kind of barrel. Now, this is weird for multiple reasons, right? Because you’ve got a 4.8% beer-well within alcohol tolerances for pilsner-that has apparently been put in some kind of barrel.

But it seems unlikely that the barrel has been previously used to store alcohol, because the ABV is so normal. Wine or spirits tend to boost a beer’s alcohol percentage by a couple points, meaning I would expect this to be a 6% beer if aged the way I typically think of beer being aged.

So what did they do?

The nose is yeasty-has that funk that makes me think of bread rising.

The beer is a bit fruity, though. If I had to take a stab, I would guess that this had been kept in a white wine barrel, maybe chardonnay? It also finishes dry, contributing to that idea.

What if it was just aged in an oak barrel that had had no previous occupant?

I’d say that this beer doesn’t have the same thirst-quenching punch that I’d expect to get from a Pils, but there’s nothing wrong with it; set me down with a place of nachos and a pint of this and I’m good.

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