Yes, we love the Little Woody. Beer events, in general, are a grand time. But when brewers bring not just their usual beers but one-off, high-gravity, barrel-aged concoctions—well, that's something you don't taste every day. And, yeah, that's the Little Woody (which also boasts a well-curated whiskey tasting).
In anticipation of the fifth annual two-day event, we got out and tasted a few of the heavily guarded specialty brews. With names like "Barrel-Aged Lights Out Stout," "The Falconator," "Raven Baltic Porter," and "Demolition Man," these robust brews probably aren't for the average Budweiser drinker—they're for connoisseurs.
Silver Moon's Conquistador, with its fire-roasted jalapeño peppers and Mexican piloncillo sugar, is an aptly named brew and sits atop this innovative category of time-intensive beers. Neither hot nor sweet, Conquistador is a brilliantly balanced, subtle beer—one of our favorites so far. It should be noted that the aforementioned peppers were first drenched in rum moonshine, "Which I think is legal," brewmaster Stuart Long explained. The desert-like 8.6% brown beer is rich with cocoa nibs and tastes masterfully complex after having aged in casks with white oak chips for nearly a year.
This is merely a window into the types of pours beer lovers can expect at Little Woody. Get there early and drink up—Long only made three half- barrels of Conquistador.
Little Woody Barrel-Aged Beer and Whiskey Festival
5-10 pm Friday, Aug. 30; 12-10 pm Saturday, Aug. 31
Des Chutes Historical Museum, 129 Northwest Idaho Ave.
$15 (includes glass, entry and 10 tokens; additional tokens $1 each; beers cost 2 to 5 tokens).