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Reformation Brewery Brewmaster & Co-Founder Nick Downs Talks Barrel-Aged Jude

91 Rating - Exceptional
Nick Downs, brewmaster & co-founder of Reformation Brewery
Nick Downs, brewmaster & co-founder of Reformation Brewery
We spoke with Reformation Brewery Brewmaster & Co-Founder Nick Downs about Barrel-Aged Jude.
BC: Who came up with this beer’s recipe?
I did.
BC: What’s your favorite aspect of this beer (flavor, aroma, etc.)?
We love the oak and citrus notes that come through on this year's version. They're subtle enough not to completely overwhelm the characteristics of the base beer, which is one of our year round favorites in our portfolio.
BC: Where does this beer’s name come from?
Our Belgian-Style Tripel recipe has been around since the beginning. In December 2016, we went from packaging in 22oz glass format to a 12oz can. The beer was our most requested brand repackaged in our fan's most requested format. Formerly known as "Providence" the beer was renamed Jude as a long term growth strategy that gave us ownership over the brand name, and helped us move from an idea to an individual who could personify the values that inspire what we do.
BC: Is this your “desert island beer?”
As a desert island beer it's too special not to share, so as long as we're stranded with a few of our nearest and dearest... This beer is so limited and special, keeping it to yourself makes us a little sad. We're looking forward to seeing how this one matures in our cellar.
BC: Can you describe this beer in 10 words or less?
A beer inspired by unexpected providence. Oak, bourbon, citrus. 
BC: Do you know a story – or have a personal story – that revolves around this beer?
Sometimes you just get lucky. We started making this variant of our year round favorite in 2016. Originally we had a tiny bourbon barrel, about 4 gallons, and generous serving of curiosity. That initial test turned out, so when we got our hands on more bourbon barrels we gave it a proper go. This year's version is a blend of four barrels, aged nine months. We didn't blend any fresh beer back into the finished product as is often done, and we love the result.
BC: What's a good food pairing for this beer?
We love this beer with roasted lemon chicken. Sour orange crispy pork also makes for an outstanding pairing. Soft cheeses like brie or camembert are also very nice.