primary fermentation in oak barrels

Barreled Souls Brewing

The brewery operates a fifty gallon brewing system. All of the beer produced at the brewery undergoes primary fermentation in oak barrels. The fermentation system is based off of the Burton Union system, which was a method of fermenting beer developed in England in the 1800’s. The benefits of this system are really three-fold.

  • When beer actively ferments in the presence of oak it begins to break the oak down releasing some tannins into the beer along with some flavor and aroma compounds. These compounds create subtle but noticeable changes that occur in all of the beers resulting in a “house character”.

  • The physical dimensions of the barrels themselves create a very comfortable environment for the yeast. The rounded wall of the barrel help the liquid churn and rotate during fermentation allowing the yeast to more easily move around. The fact that the barrel has a much lower width-to-height ratio reduces that atmospheric pressure on the yeast keeping them healthier leading to better fermentation characteristics.

  • The primary purpose for using the Burton Union system is to allow for a means of re-capturing a healthy and active yeast crop to use for subsequent batches. As the beer ferments, yeast is driven up to the surface by the CO2 created as the yeast multiply. The yeast that rise to the top are the healthiest and strongest yeast cells in the batch. By filling the barrels almost to the top, this “top crop” of yeast is pushed up and out of the barrels and into a catchment system that allows the yeast to be captured and re-used in subsequent batches. Over generations the yeast acclimate to the system resulting in a selectively bred strain the flourishes.




Saco, ME

 We are a craft-distribution and importing company built on the passion for the product we sell.  Inspired by the liquid in the bottle, we have scoured the US and beyond to find, what we believe, to be the best beer, cider and mead available in the world.  We go to great lengths to then get these liquids to the customer in the best possible condition.  Our suppliers work hard to make a world class product and we’re dedicated to treating them with the respect they deserve.

We do not carry multinational macro-lagers or “utility” beers

We do not carry beer brewed with adjuncts used to reduce flavor and body.

We are not in the business of “moving boxes”