Awildan Juleøl Release
Awildan Distilling has teamed up with Karben4 Brewing to release a collaboration beer that is centered around our newest spirit release, Spiced Rum. The beer is called Awildan Juleøl, which translates to Yule ale. It’s an oatmeal milk stout fermented on the oak used to flavor the Spiced Rum, and flavored with vanilla beans, cinnamon, and cardamom. This beer will be released at Awildan Distillery on Saturday, November 19th from 12:00-4:00pm.
For this beer, I was inspired by the holiday flavors of the Spiced Rum. I was transported back in time to 2013 when I was a new hire at Karben4 and was able to assist in brewing Fleece Navidad, a Yuletide stout (as a K4 newbie at the time, I think I got to add some hops to the kettle and pitch the yeast!). That beer was a 9% abv monster of an oatmeal milk stout, fermented on whiskey soaked oak, and flavored with spices like cardamom and cloves. The Awildan Juleøl is a nod to that first beer I was a part of at Karben4. Juleøl is a little more moderate at 7.7% abv, but still packs plenty of flavor.
Thinking back to 2013 made me reflect on my journey as a brewer and distiller. I came to the craft beer industry as a highly motivated home brewer. I started home brewing beer the same time I started my grad school program in Prosthetics and Orthotics. Thanks to some supportive friends and thirsty classmates, I was avidly brewing at home as quickly as I could empty carboys. In 2013 I moved back to Madison for an Orthotics Residency with UW Health and to marry my amazing wife and best friend, Erin Ellison. After our wedding and completing my residency, I had a couple of months to fill. I decided to use that time to apply for a gig at a craft brewery. Little did I know, those couple of months would start me down a new career path at Karben4 Brewing–from starting at the very bottom to becoming the head brewer at Karben4.
When I first started thinking about making the move from brewing to distilling, I shadowed at a distillery in Scotland. Pairing beer and spirits is something I’ve thought about ever since that visit to Scotland where I enjoyed a perfectly pulled pint of cask conditioned ale alongside an excellent dram of single malt whisky. This experience of enjoying well-crafted beverages together serves as the inspiration behind Awildan’s spirit and beer collaborations. I hope you enjoy our Spiced Rum and richly layered Juleøl with friends and family this holiday season!