A foeder (pronounced FOOD-er) is really a large wooden vat used to age wine, but recently, many breweries like New Belgium Brewing, Epic Brewing Company, Crooked Stave and more have got a hold of them to age their sour beers and large amounts of it.
Here at Deschutes, our off-site barrel warehouse has been growing, and with over 3,000 barrels, it seemed natural to add some foeders into the mix. We’ve been collecting a few here and there but most recently, we had the opportunity to obtain this little 25 bbl french oak foeder made by Sequin Morreau and we’re the only brewery in the WORLD to have this particular one.
What makes this foeder unique is the stainless legs, cooling coals inside, the glass staves to see the process happening, and the safety cage on top so we don’t fall in.
This is a little slice of heaven for us and allows us to experiment even more. Since this foeder has never been used we will need to hydrate the wood and determine if there are any leaks in between the staves. We will do that using filtered water. Next, we know that the new wood can be somewhat aggressive so we will break it in, or season the wood by aging some Black Butte Porter in there. We can then experiment with that porter, blending it with other beers or just enjoy it with the strong wood flavors.
We are very excited to begin using more and more foeders and eventually adding some wild yeast of our own to create some more tasty tart beers.
Questions or beer recommendations on what we should age in this foeder? Comment below and we’ll pass them along to our Assistant Brewmaster and Barrel-Aging Extraordinaire, Ryan Schmeige. A huge thank you to him for providing us with all of this information about our foeder program. Cheers!
To check out our newest, tallest, foeder that just came in this week, click here!