The Post taps Bulky Oxen, a "session" barleywine from Bryan Selders and Sam Calagione

Categories: Beer Man

Dogfish Head Facebook page
Bryan Selders (left) and Sam Calagione brewing Bulky Oxen.
Barleywines are part of an ancient style of beer, one that's primarily denoted by a higher alcohol content than typical brews -- an alcohol level closer to that of wine.

But Bryan Selders and Sam Calagione don't care, and why should they? The two brewers built their reputations at Dogfish Head Brewing by bucking tradition.

See also: Former Dogfish Head brew master Bryan Selders joins Big Red F's The Post Brewing

Last year, Selders moved to Colorado to take the top brewing job at The Post, a Lafayette brewery owned by the Big Red F restaurant group, and in April, he got a visit from Calagione, his old boss, who was in town for the Craft Brewers Conference.

The two decided to brew a beer together at The Post as part of Selders's Brewing With Friends project, and after a few pints, focused on a lower-alcohol barleywine.

"We wanted to make something drinkable, with a clean finish, something that would be drinkable in larger quantities," Selders says. The beer, which is called Bulky Oxen after the pair's longtime interest in the Paul Bunyan fairytale, is 7.5 percent ABV. Most barleywines clock in at around 8 to 11 percent ABV.

They called it a "session barleywine" in deference to the current trend of making lower-alcohol versions of typically high-ABV beers and putting the word "session" in front of them; session usually refers to beers below 4 or 5 percent ABV.

That descriptor earned Selders and Calagione some blowback on Facebook and on Beer Advocate because of its inherent contradiction. But the two brewers don't really care, since as Selders points out, "It tastes really good."

Bulky Oxen went on tap Monday at The Post, the West End Tavern in Boulder and the Old Mine in Erie. There are only ten barrels, so it will likely be gone after about a month.

Brewed with marmalade (made with orange, lemon and sweet onions), the beer is meant to be paired with The Post's pork shoulder, which was braised in a roasted tomato/herb broth and finished in the wood oven and topped with onion bacon marmalade.

Follow Westword's Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan and on Facebook at Colo BeerMan

Location Info

The Post Brewing Co.

105 W. Emma St., Lafayette, CO

Category: General

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

If you can session a 7.5% abv beer, you might have a problem...

Mantonat topcommenter

@LovesBeer  You just have to apply modern food industry economics to the situation. Almost nobody serves beer in actual pint glasses anymore. You order a pint and you're lucky to get 12-14 ounces. The prices keep going up and the portions keep going down. By the same token, sessions keep getting shorter, so you have to pack more alcohol into each one. Sessions used to be several hours long, but now you're lucky to see them last 90 minutes.

Now Trending

From the Vault