Gin Barrel-Aged Imperial Cabinet from Bruery Terreux, Our Beer of the Week!

BBQ mits on glass: Gin barrel-aged Imperial Cabinet at Bruery Terreux. Photo by Greg Nagel

Pro tip: When ordering a slow-pour pils, order a taster (or full pour) of something to wet your palate while you wait. Case in point, today at Bruery Terreux (and Heritage BBQ’s sixth-to-last popup), hexagon-wearing beertender Emily Monnig says, “try the gin-barrel-aged Imperial Cabinet,” knowing my favorite cocktail in the world is the ultra creamy Ramos Gin Fizz.

The Ramos Gin Fizz cocktail was born in New Orleans around 1888 at a bar called The Imperial Cabinet Saloon, and the cocktail was unique in the fact that it takes around ten minutes to make thanks to a lengthy vigorous shake. “It’s ironic that I’m drinking a Ramos Gin Fizz-inspired beer while waiting ten-minutes for a slow-pour pils,” I say to my wife, who is knee deep in bbq sauce and a Fred Flinstone-sized beef rib.

I’ve had The Bruery’s Imperial Cabinet before, and it’s a lovely beer, but after time in a gin barrel, something magical happens. Hints of botanicals pop out of the woodwork, a whiff of juniper and caraway that gets layered with lemon and lime peel.  I don’t often seek out lactose in any beer, but find it lacking in a Ramos-inspired beer, especially as the cocktail rides the line of a creamy shake. “Well, lactose will be re-fermented in sour beer,” notes Bruery brewer “sour” Keith Pumilla. With traditional brewers yeast, lactose remains a way for brewers to back sweeten a beer and add body, such as with a milk stout or dessert stout as the yeast can’t ferment it.

Members only. Grab a bottle if you know someone in the Bruery Reserve Society. Photo courtesy The Bruery.

The beer was originally brewed in collaboration with Jester King just outside of Austin, Texas. “You know what I find ironic?” asks my wife in the fog from the patio misters. “You’re drinking a beer that was conceived from an Austin brewery and eating barbecue that’s inspired by central Texas.” Synchronicity can be funny sometimes.

The beer is on tap at Bruery Terreux and bottles can possibly be purchased if you’re a Reserve Society Member. Craving an actual Ramos Gin Fizz? Get a proper one served up at the Cellar in downtown Fullerton or Pie Society in Costa Mesa.

Bruery Terreux is at 1174 N Grove St, Anaheim, (714) 905-7361; thebruery.com

Greg Nagel has been writing about beer since 2011, is an avid homebrewer of wine, cider, and beer, is a certified Cicerone Beer Server, level 1 WSET in Wine, a podcaster with the Four Brewers Show, and runs a yearly beer festival called Firkfest happening on June 29th in Anaheim!

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