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What homebrewers really need to barrel-age beer at home

Ben Loseke

Barrel-aged beers are arguably the pinnacle of craft beer. They’re deliciously complex in flavor – achieving a wide variety of otherwise unattainable profiles – and all it takes is a little practice and a lot of patience. More and more, we’re...
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Marty Scott of Revolution Brewing answers our burning barrel-aging questions

Midwest Barrel Co. is lucky to partner with some of the best in the barrel-aging business. We’ve worked with everyone from the skilled homebrewer to some of the top names in the craft beer industry.  One of the best parts about getting to partner with folks who have a ton...

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Why Revolution Brewing looks to MWBC for barrels

We work with craft brewery barrel programs of every size and any experience level. From beginners to barrel-aging experts, we strive to help them all find the best barrels. Revolution Brewing Company is definitely one of our partners who you could safely call experts at what they do with barrels....

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Why You Should Buy Barrels Now for Your Next Barrel-Aged Beer

Barrel-aging beers takes a lot of work, planning and prep. But if you’re a brewer, that probably doesn’t faze you. The idea of experimenting with the new flavors that barrels can introduce to your brews is probably exciting enough to help ease any anxiety or worries about getting started. And...

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Customer Spotlight: Glacial Till Vineyard & Winery

The winemakers at Glacial Till Vineyard and Winery enjoy their craft, but they aren’t satisfied with making the same wine year after year. That’s one of the reasons why Glacial Till, located in Palmyra, Nebraska, continues to churn out flavorful varieties of the hard apple cider it started making in...

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Skinny Sticks Maple Syrup knows MWBC aims to please

Our team at Midwest Barrel Co. is always laser-focused on making sure our customers are happy with their purchases.  Just ask the folks over at Skinny Sticks Maple Syrup. Mitch Hoyt and family shared this about their positive experience working with MWBC: “Midwest Barrel will work to get you the...

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MWBC goes above and beyond for Great Wagon Road Distilling Co.

If you’re searching for just the right barrel, then Midwest Barrel Co. needs to be your first call.  Don’t just take it from us. We’re the go-to barrel wrangler for many in the craft beer and even distilling industries. MWBC has helped many of our partners, including Great Wagon Road...

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Oak & Bond shows how MWBC finds great barrels for everyone

Not a craft brewery? No problem. Midwest Barrel Co. works hard to find top-notch barrels for every customer. Take Oak & Bond Coffee Co., for example. They’ve taken a bit of an uncommon approach to coffee beans by aging them in a variety of barrels – including barrels that previously aged,...

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Why Pollyanna Brewing Company gets barrels from Midwest Barrel Co.

At Midwest Barrel Co., we believe the tight ship we run is what makes us the top option for any craft brewery or other customer who is looking to buy barrels.  But don’t ask us. Here’s what Brian Pawola, the head brewer, distiller and cofounder over at Pollyanna Brewing Company,...

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Zipline Brewing Co. shares some local love for MWBC

MWBC appreciates the value of local as much as any other business associated with the craft beer industry.  That’s why we love partnering with local, Nebraska craft breweries, such as Zipline Brewing Co., as they look to secure killer barrels for their monster barrel-aged brews. We absolutely love hearing about...

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How to swell a wine barrel

Wine barrels can make for some pretty mean barrel-aged brews. But before we get ahead of ourselves and start talking about barrel-aging projects (there’ll be plenty of time for that!), we need to talk about another important wine barrel topic: swelling.  Why is swelling so important? Well, you don’t want...

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What is a wet barrel?

I believe getting to the point quickly is a virtue. So if you’re here because you just purchased a used whiskey barrel that you intend to fill with a beverage, but there isn’t any remaining liquid from what it aged before in there and so you’re concerned, here’s what you need to...

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Barrel-Aging 101: How to swell a dry or leaking barrel

Barrels are good for two things – holding liquid for long periods of time and making cool stuff out of the repurposed wood. So when a barrel is leaky, that’s a major issue for most of what a barrel is supposed to do. So if you just bought a barrel...

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How do we prep a whiskey barrel to be refilled?

One of the most common questions we get here at MWBC is “How do I prep the bourbon or whiskey barrel I just purchased to be refilled?” Well it’s a very simple answer – NOTHING! If you are having to clean or swell your whiskey barrels before filling you definitely...

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Barrel Care: My barrel has a leak!

Barrel-aging is an exciting undertaking. Some time spent in a barrel can take a homebrew, craft beer, wine or distilled spirit to the next level.  But the barrel has to be able to do its job. A leaking barrel is a no-go and will only delay your beverage’s barrel-aged journey....

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I can't fill my barrel right away

Barrels have a shelf life. Or should we call it a rack life? No matter what you want to call it, it’s true. You can’t just get a used barrel, let it sit in the corner and expect it to be ready for barrel-aging whenever you need it. In a...

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Is my barrel dry?

When it comes to ingredients, fresh is best. For brewers who are barrel-aging craft beer or a homebrewer dabbling in the style, the barrel is another ingredient. So, like all other ingredients that go into a beer recipe, quality matters.  In the barrel-aging world, quality is often determined (for the...

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How The Brew Brotha went from homebrewer to starting his own brewery

Shannon Harris is living the homebrewer’s dream. Once a craft beer fan who would drink a beer, snap a pic and post it on Instagram, Harris is now on course to open the first black-owned brewery in Austin, Texas.  Most people know Harris as The Brew Brotha on Instagram. He...

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How to store and care for a new small format barrel

New, small barrels are a great buy for homebrewers, people who want to experiment with distilled spirits or even bartenders who want to try their hand at barrel-aged cocktails.  However, barrel-aging with a brand new, small barrel isn’t exactly an out-of-the-box, ready-to-go endeavor. It takes some prepwork and some homework....

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Homebrew barrel-aged imperial stout recipe

Hopefully one of the best things 2020 had to offer was giving us all more time to pursue new hobbies. And by new hobbies, I’m looking at all of you new homebrewers.So, you took the plunge into the homebrewing space and discovered you actually make pretty damn good beer? Well...

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Barrel-Aged Homebrewing 101: How to avoid oxidation

This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. For months you’ve thought about it, dreamt about it, gazed longingly at it from across the room. You’re about to try your latest and greatest homebrewed creation, patiently aged in a perfect oak barrel. You pour your first sample, swish the liquid around,...

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How to barrel-age beer, spirits, cocktails or other beverages

You’ve gone and purchased a small barrel – or someone thoughtfully gave it to you as a gift. Now you’re probably racing to fill it with a choice beverage, or you’re wondering what the heck you can do with it.  If you fall into the latter category, then congratulations – you’re...

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What homebrewers really need to barrel-age beer at home

Barrel-aged beers are arguably the pinnacle of craft beer. They’re deliciously complex in flavor – achieving a wide variety of otherwise unattainable profiles – and all it takes is a little practice and a lot of patience. More and more, we’re seeing homebrewers rise to the challenge of barrel-aging, exploring new...

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How to remove barrel char

Let’s not beat around the bush here. While we love the authentic, rustic nature of used whiskey and bourbon barrels, they can be a bit messy.  One of the primary culprits of this mess is the char on the inside of the barrel. Open one up and you’ll see what...

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How to Break Down a Whiskey or Wine Barrel

The number of DIY projects you can tackle with a reclaimed, white oak barrel is practically limitless. Staves, heads and rings are perfect when crafting one-of-a-kind furniture and decor. But what’s the best way to go about taking the barrel apart so you can actually use those parts? You could...

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The story behind the barrel head

You’ve likely heard us say every barrel has a story. We say it all the time because it’s true. Every barrel that finds its way to the Midwest Barrel Co. warehouse is authentic. They’ve aged fine spirits, such as bourbon and whiskey and wines. This means most barrels that reach...

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How to extend the life of your barrel

Nobody wants a home decor barrel that looks like it’s about to fall apart. Luckily, barrels are fairly sturdy and can hold up against outdoor conditions for quite some time.  But – and there’s always a but, right? – everything has a lifespan.  Barrels are held together only with pressure....

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What is the difference between fresh-dumped & furniture/decor barrels?

It's one of the most common questions we get here at MWBC. So, what is the difference? The term "fresh dumped" means the barrel was recently dumped at the distillery and is now ready to be filled. Fresh dumped barrels are the more sought after bourbon barrel due to the...

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How to care for your guestbook barrel head

Many people will tell you that your wedding day is one of the most important days of your entire life – and possibly the biggest day you’ve experienced to that point.  It’s true that weddings are key, unforgettable moments in our lives. Most brides, grooms, their friends and their family...

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How to hang your barrel head

Whether it’s for your man cave, she shed, home bar or business, personalized barrel heads are beautiful, unique decor pieces that truly stand out anywhere you hang them on display.  At Midwest Barrel Co., we offer many different customization options that range from pre-designed graphics to totally customized artwork. All...

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How to care for your decor barrel

So, you’ve got a barrel that you want to keep looking nice. We’re here for that – and we’re here to help. While we think all authentic barrels look great in their own way, we understand that appearance and condition are even more important when it comes to decor and...

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Norm’s On 48th bourbon barrel BBQ pork butt

A key part of any grill master’s claim to fame is consistently serving up delicious barbecue that gets mouths watering and keeps everyone coming back for more. Here is a Bourbon Barrel Chunk Smoked Pork Butt recipe from Norm’s on 48th in Lincoln, Nebraska that will do just that. The...

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Badass Smoked Deviled Eggs

Who says you can only smoke meat? We’ve got a kick-ass recipe for Badass Smoked Deviled Eggs from Instagram user Matt Roach (@greatbalance) that features our Apple Brandy Barrel Smoking Wood Chunks. These chunks, which are also available as wood chips, will add layers of complex flavor to just about...

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'The ultimate barrel broker': MWBC interviewed on WGN Radio

Midwest Barrel Co. founders and co-owners Ben and Jess Loseke had the awesome opportunity to be featured in a segment on WGN Radio in Chicago in July. With some of our top brewery partners located in and around Chicagoland, Ben and Jess jumped at the chance to share more with...

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Jess shares her entrepreneurial story and business leader mindset at Capital Cigar Lounge's YPT event

Midwest Barrel Co. had a killer year in 2020, as in our best year ever. A lot of that is thanks to the leadership of our company’s co-owner, Jess Loseke. Jess dove into the year that was 2020 and many other topics during her talk at Capital Cigar Lounge’s YPT...

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Midwest Barrel Co. featured in story about barrel brokers’ role in craft brewing, distilling industries

Ever wonder how barrel brokers fit into the craft beer and distilled spirits industries? Well, Spirited wrote an article that answers that question – and it features our very own barrel slinger, Midwest Barrel Co. Co-Owner Ben Loseke, or Barrel Ben, as we fondly call him. From the article: “When...

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Ben joins Nebraska Beer:30 podcast to talk about how Midwest Barrel Co. began and how the business has grown

Just a couple of guys talking barrels, beer and barrel-aged beer (obviously). That’s the gist behind an episode of the Nebraska Beer:30 podcast featuring Midwest Barrel Co. Co-Owner Ben Loseke. Barrel Ben shares the story of our company’s humble beginnings as his hobby and how we became a leading barrel...

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“Support the Craft” campaign raises money for craft brewery employees

In March 2020 the pandemic hit, effectively shutting down the entire world overnight. Before there were stimulus checks and government funding, some of our favorite businesses found themselves wondering how they were going to survive the unknown.  The Midwest Barrel Co. team knew we couldn't sit silently but needed to...

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