Whiskey Business: 5 Of The Best Whiskeys Made By Breweries
Photo: OsakaWayne Studios (Getty Images)
This week, Pabst Blue Ribbon was all over newspaper headlines, and it wasn’t because the world finally realized that the beloved hipster and old-timer beer really isn’t all that great. It was because, according to multiple sources, the brand is set to launch its own whiskey. The brand’s partner New Holland Brewing Co. just got federal approval to start making a PBR-centric whiskey beginning next month. It’s assumed the whiskey will be contract distilled at the Michigan brewery/distillery.
While the idea of PBR having a whiskey seems odd, it’s pretty much the equivalent of Tostitos announcing they’ll be making Cool Ranch-flavored ice cream (although we’d try it). It’s not that brewers haven’t produced spirits before, it’s just that a PBR whiskey seems so strange. Maybe it’s just us.
In fact, there’s a whole slew of brewers that have branched off into the whiskey world with tremendous results. Below you’ll find a few of our favorites.
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Rogue Stouted Whiskey
Every February, famed Oregon brewery Rogue releases Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout. This popular beer is aged in whiskey-soaked casks. But, Rogue’s Stouted Whiskey is aged first in fresh American oak barrels. Then, the whiskey is put in different barrels and the Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout is added to the barrels that previously held the whiskey. After the stout ages for nine months, it’s removed and bottled. Then, the whiskey is added to the now stout-soaked whiskey barrels and ages for two more years.
Photo: Colin Bray-Sweet/Rogue
Anchor Old Potrero Single Malt Hotaling's Whiskey
To commemorate the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Anchor Distilling created this whiskey to pay homage to the whiskey barrels that miraculously survived the quake and the ensuing fires. This pot-distilled, 100 percent malted rye whiskey was aged for 11 years in once-used, charred oak whiskey barrels.
Photo: Anchor Distilling
Ballast Point Devil’s Share
One of the most popular breweries in the country, Ballast Point, is known for its beloved Sculpin IPA, but the company also makes spirits. This California Small Batch Single Malt Whiskey is aged in new, charred American oak barrels for four years.
Photo: Ballast Point
Dogfish Head Alternate Takes Vol. 1
This unique whiskey starts off as an ale that is brewed using specialty malts. It then gets fermented with Dogfish Head’s Doggie Ale Yeast. After distilling the juice, it gets aged in new, charred American oak casks before being transferred to rum casks for finishing.
Photo: Dogfish Head
Southern Tier Straight Bourbon Whiskey
This straight bourbon comes from Southern Tier’s distilling side. The brewery is well-known for Phin and Matt’s Extraordinary Ale, Pumking, and Warlock Imperial Stout. But the distilling side is started to gain attention because of offerings like its award-winning straight bourbon. This small-batch whiskey is aged for more than two years in open-air-seasoned American white oak casks.
Photo: Southern Tier Distilling