Learn why Reuben's Brews' Three Ryes Men is so unique, from its caretaker, Thor Stoddard.

Author: Northwest Beer Guide
Beer. To most, the word sums up thoughts of activities, commercials, or the sound a can or bottle makes when the top of the tab opens the package. But about baking? At Reuben’s Brews, assistant brewer Thor Stoddard provides a unique approach to the brewery’s limited edition releases. But one of his favorites, a beer that he oversees its recreation, is Three Ryes Men. Conceived by Reuben’s Brews’ co-owner, Adam Robbings, in 2017, Three Ryes Men is another example of the brewery’s focus on the use of Rye as a key ingredient. Today, the beer remains a heavy favorite of brewery loyalists and lovers of high gravity, barrel-aged beers. To make Three Ryes Men, the process starts with including Rye malt, at around 48%. Typically, a Three Ryes Men brewing day is laborious, mostly after transferring the wort made from the inclusion of rye malt, to the next boil kettle for hop additions. Unbeknownst to many, rye malt is a grain that is nested in a husk. Which after being milled will separate from the husk. The result when water is added as part of the brewing process will cause these husks to attach to the interior of the tank, making cleaning difficult. After adding hop additions,they transfer the beer into barrels, which for several years were from bourbon distillers like Heaven Hills. But recently, Thor and the other brewers elected to age Three Ryes Men in Rye whiskey barrels. Aged between a year and 18 months, Three Ryes Men’s base characteristics, including not of chocolate and cinnamon, will start gaining the unique flavors and aroma found in these prior use barrels. From there, over time, Thor will start the inspection process by drilling an initial hole in the barrel, usually well below where the barrel hole or bung hole is, to allow some of the aged Three Ryes Men into a glass. With a specific nail in both diameter and material, Thor will replace the evacuated area of wood to stop the flow of beer. Months later, Thor will return to that barrel, and with a quick yank will remove the nail, filling a ...
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