Our friend Brad Clark launched Private Press, his membership-only Santa Cruz brewery, in mid-2020, but his brewing experience spans years back. Joining Jackie O's Pub & Brewery in 2005 and working his way up to Director of Brewing Operations, Brad honed his craft across nearly every style of beer imaginable. Now, under the membership model, he gets to focus on the styles he loves making most: barrel-aged imperial stout and barleywine.
It's fitting that when Brad came to visit back in early July 2018, we brewed an absolutely massive imperial stout, destined for barrels from its inception. After two and a half years of maturation in bourbon barrels, we dug through our barrel stock, selected components that were hitting all of the right notes for us, and crafted a final blend that we're incredibly proud to share with you. Crates, named after Brad's love for vinyl and "crate digging" at the record store to find gems, is a beautiful display of non-adjuncted, barrel-aged imperial stout.
Out of the bottle, Crates pours a viscous, pitch black, leaving slow-falling legs after the glass is swirled. The aroma is luxuriously rich, offering notes of nutty dark chocolate, toasted marshmallow, oaky vanilla, and molasses. As the glass warms a kiss of light smoke and bourbon-soaked caramel add layers of depth. Crates finishes round and full on the palate, displaying remarkable softness thanks to its extended time in oak.
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