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Pontoon Brewing Owner Sean O'Keefe and Brewmaster Chris Baratz Talk Barrel Aged Brownie Batter Batch Blend #1

Owner Sean (right) and Brewmaster Chris (left) Talk Barrel Aged Brownie Batter Batch Blend #1
Owner Sean (right) and Brewmaster Chris (left) Talk Barrel Aged Brownie Batter Batch Blend #1

We spoke with Pontoon Brewing Owner Sean O'Keefe and Brewmaster Chris Baratz about Barrel Aged Brownie Batter Batch Blend #1.

BC: Who came up with this beer’s recipe? 
I (Sean) came up with the recipe and name for the beer. My love for rich and thick pastry stouts paved the way for this beer. Chris then took this recipe and fine-tuned it into the beer it is today. Both of us worked together closely in the barrel selection, blending ratios and all variant flavors as well. 

BC: What’s your favorite aspect of this beer (flavor, aroma, etc.)? 
The body, balance and the lack of adjuncts to make the flavor profile of brownie batter. The barrel then rounds out the edges with some micro-oxidation to create a very balanced and refined final product with good oak tannins and the spirit characteristics. Blending has become the essential part of this project. 

BC: Where does this beer’s name come from? 
It comes from the fact that it straight-up tastes like brownie batter. We get asked all the time what brownie batter, chocolate, or adjuncts we use in the beer and it’s awesome to say that it’s all the work from the malt, water, hops, yeast and barrel/spirit character.

BC: Is this your “desert island beer?” 
Maybe our “dessert” island beer! It’s definitely a sipper so it might work well for a desert island! 

BC: Can you describe this beer in 10 words or less? 
A decadent chocolate treat with a rich and thick personality. 

BC: Do you know a story – or have a personal story – that revolves around this beer? 
We’ve been chasing this level of body on a stout since we’ve opened. When homebrewing, it’s much easier to boil down a stout to achieve the body you want but on a commercial-size brewhouse, that 8-hour boil turned into 24+ hours without putting a bunch of maltodextrin or lactose to achieve that body. It took so long that we had to brew in shifts overnight, which was a new experience and one we don’t like to do often! It was supposed to be a one-off beer but now, we mark the calendar and dread the day of the boil that seems to grow by more hours every year! 

BC: What's a good food pairing for this beer? 
A buttery Brie cheese, a fudgy and moist brownie and a smoky but sweet rack of pork ribs. 

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