All the way back when Beer Mumbo first started showing off some hints about the brewery that was going to be opening in East Walnut Hills – we were seeing artwork of packaging. It was no secret that this project was starting off with plans of getting their beers into our refrigerators and beer cellars even before the first drop hit the tanks, but that doesn’t make an event like this any less exciting – it might actually have built up a bit of anticipation for me to be honest.

It’s no surprise that they are kicking their packaging game off with a big Imperial Stout, after all, even during their grand opening people were buzzing about their Cherry Chocolate Stout that was on tap – they know how to do a lot of things very well, and big dark beers are clearly one of those things.

Let’s talk about what’s going on… Shall We?

The Release

Woodburn is unleashing onto us, a massive Imperial Stout, one that has been sitting in front of us the whole time (for 7 months to be exact, before heading into bottles) in Buffalo Trace Barrels. It’s said to be big, dark, chocolatey ,and I can only assume delicious based on what they’ve been pouring in the meantime. They made things a little more exciting too by bottling up a variant as well – you can also snatch bottles of the Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout that’s been transformed into a Chocolate Mint Imperial Stout – and you probably should. If it’s anything like some of the other Minted Imperial Stouts that I’ve tried it’s going to be a favorite while it’s fresh!

They’ve packaged the beer up into 22oz bottles, which are going to be for sale at $15 a piece starting this weekend (Saturday, July 8th) at 10 am.

They’ve been watching everyone else, and planning how the want to make this release one that fits in with what Cincinnati likes to do with their bottle releases, and along with all the usual stuff that happens while you’re waiting in line, there’s some great stuff planned for during the day too.

The Event

Since the bottles start moving out the door at 10, you might want to line up a little early to make sure you get your hands on a couple (There’s a limit of two bottles per variant). If you are afraid you might get hungry while you’re waiting in line, they’ve got you covered, Chris and Tracy will be showing off their cooking skills by providing a free breakfast (breakfast sandwiches… perfect for eating while in line) to make sure no one gets hungry, and to prepare everyone for the big “stouty” drinks that will soon enter the picture.

You can follow the event on Woodburn’s Facebook page here.

Music kicks off at noon, with Damon Gray kicking the party off, and giving you some tunes to listen to as you hang out all day. You are going to want to hang out for a while too… remember the big “stouty” drinks I mentioned? They’ve got some awesome taps coming on throughout the day.

The Tappings

The teasing started online last weekend, with the news that there would be four surprise beer tappings throughout the day kicking off at 10 am and going until 4. We now know exactly what they’ve got up their sleeves… and it’s sounding like it’s some pretty tasty variants that will be coming our way!

  • 10am – They’re tapping a Raspberry Vanilla Imperial Bourbon Barrel Stout
  • 12pm – They’re tapping the big daddy himself, the Imperial Bourbon Barrel Stout
  • 2pm – The Chocolate Mint Imperial Bourbon Barrel Stout hits the taps
  • 4pm – A Coffee Imperial Bourbon Barrel Stout is up last.

Personally?  I need to get that Raspberry Vanilla Imperial Bourbon Barrel Stout, and the Coffee Imperial Bourbon Barrel Stout.

What This All Means (The Bigger Picture)

This opens a new door for Woodburn, one that they’ve been staring at for a long time (since even before they opened). Their beer now as the ability to get into the hands of a lot of people that might not have gotten it before, and it’s only the tip of the iceberg. I’ve heard that there is much more packaging to come in the near future… with more bottles, and even cans right on the horizon.

We know that this beer is coming back – it’s part of a vision of a yearly Imperial stout that changes as barrels change, brewers whims change, and ideas flow. But the brewery has also mentioned that they’ve got Sour barrels nearly ready to hit bottles, they’ve got a Belgian Quad just itching to get into your mouth… it’s going to be an exciting year for Woodburn – make no mistake!

This brewery comes off as one that knows who they are, knows what they want to do and is setting up all the chess pieces to make the ends connect perfectly. It’s exciting, and a ride that I can’t wait to take with them!

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