Ladyface Ale Companie Takes on Malibu Estate Winery in Battle of The Barrel 2012
This much they had agreed on – the folks at Malibu Family Wines loved beer and the folks at Ladyface Ale Companie loved wine. Ladyface even worked with Malibu’s vintners to create Ladyface Cuvee, served exclusively at the popular Agoura Hills brewpub. It was all friendly, cozy even, until someone suggested putting Ladyface beer in Malibu Family Wines’ barrels.
In fact, purported Ladyface, the barrel-aged beer would taste better than the wine. “Not so, beer geeks”, responded Malibu. “W(h)iners”, replied Ladyface. And thus began the first Battle of the Barrel.
Barrel-aged beer is not new. Brewers have been storing and aging beer in wooden casks for centuries, probably longer than wine. With the advent of more durable and easily cleaned materials like stainless steel, the practice fell out of favor. But, barrel-aging is becoming popular again due to daring craft brewers who use wine and bourbon barrels to impart unique flavors to their ales.
Ladyface triumphed in that first battle, but Malibu Family Wines was determined to win the war. The local estate winery presented their 2009 Semler Merlot for the challenge. Deep garnet color, the nose has hints of cigar box andTahitian vanilla. Cherries and dark forest berries are on the palate, and the finish yields notes of fine Ecuadorian Cacao. “This Semler Merlot is complex and well- balanced,” states Derek Baugh of Malibu Family Wines. “It’s 100% Merlot, 100% Malibu and 100% a winner!”
Ladyface responded by creating Beffroi, aging their Picture City Porter in those same Semler Merlot barrels. One of the brewery’s Ingenuity Series of barrel-aged inventions, Beffroi is named for a medieval siege tower and, according to Brewmaster David Griffiths, built to withstand the onslaught of wine afficionados. A perfect hybrid, the wine barrel-aging added garnet-hued edges and strong oak tannins to the rich, roasted flavors of Picture City Porter, supported by the Merlot’s notes of Ecuadorian cacao. The wine character is present, yet subdued, with hints of cherry, dark forest berries, cigar box, and Tahitian vanilla.
With neither side conceding, the final verdict is again being left up to retail consumers. From July 14th to July 24th, guests at both establishments will be able to purchase sample tasters of Malibu Family Wines’ Semler Estate Grown 2009 Merlot and Ladyface Ale Companie’s Merlot barrel-aged Beffroi and cast their votes.
The winner will be announced at a Battle of the Barrel Finale will be held on Tuesday, July 24th from 5:00-7:00pm at Ladyface Alehouse & Brasserie. A total of 150 tickets are available, 75 at Ladyface and 75 at Malibu Family Wines. You must be 21 or over to attend. There’ll be music, sampling, voting and, no doubt, a lot of last-minute campaigning by both sides.
Ladyface Alehouse & Brasserie 28291 Agoura Road, Agoura Hills CA (818) 477-4566
Malibu Family Wines
31727 Mulholland Highway, Malibu CA (818) 889-0120
Samples of both the wine and beer as well as ballots will be available July 14th through the 24th during normal business hours. A Ladyface Ale Companie rep will be at the Malibu Family Wines tasting room both weekends prior to the event.
Ladyface Ale Companie, established in late 2009 along with its restaurant Ladyface Alehouse & Brasserie, brews La Blonde, La Blanche Wit, Blind AmbitionTM Abbey, Trois Filles Tripel, LadyfaceTM IPA, Chesebro IPA and Picture City Porter as well as seasonal and special occasion ales such as Blue-Belly Barleywine and Dérailleur® Bière-de-Garde. The Conejo Valley’s first microbrewery, Ladyface produced approximately 700 barrels of beer last year. Visit www.ladyfaceale.com for information on Ladyface beers, tours, special events and more.
Malibu Family Wines, producers of award-winning Semler and Saddlerock Wines, is a joint family endeavor between the Semler and the DeJoria Families. Perfectly positioned at the crest of the Santa Monica Mountains, our vineyards are indeed special. The rocky terrain and steep south facing slopes provide the perfect environment for growing premium wine grapes. Planting started in 1997 with 14 acres of Cabernet and Merlot. Today our hillside vineyards consist of approximately 65,000 vines on 70 acres with eight varietals planted, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Malbec, Grenache, Mouvedre and Viognier. For more information visit www.malibufamilywines.com.
Contact: Robyn Britton 818-575-6941 [email protected]