On a rainy December 7th in Redlands, CA, hundreds of humans stood in line waiting to gain access to Hangar 24 Brewery. With umbrellas, makeshift tents and raincoats, these humans braved the cold rain for hours hoping to get their taste of the 24 barrel-aged beers available. Some came to purchase bottles, others chose the tasting for $25, which gave them eight tasting options in a keepsake glass. Of course, many drenched humans chose both options. Members of the Tasting Room’s Frequent Flyer loyalty program that have achieved Bronze status or above got to begin their tasting an hour early as did us lucky Beer Aliens. Our early access allowed us to not have to stand in the aforementioned rain. We apologize humans.

Hangar 24 Craft brewing

Of the beers available, none were more coveted than the Pugachev’s Royale, the newest entry into Hangar 24’s Barrel Roll series of beers. This beer was so rare, even the Hangar 24 employees had to stand in the same line if they wanted a bottle. It was only fair with the rain and the wind. Pugachev’s Royale was created by adding cacao nibs and vanilla beans to a few of the barrels of Pugachev’s Cobra during its eight month aging process. It was then transferred to brandy barrels for an additional ten months of aging. Hangar 24’s Pugachev’s Royale is truly an amazing beer.

“Pugachev’s release day has become a holiday of sorts at Hangar 24,” said Ben Cook, Founder and Master Brewer. “We think there’s no better way to celebrate than to offer the chance for our fans to taste selections from throughout the years of our barrel program.  Barrel-aging is an incredibly fun and challenging process for us brewers, and it gives us the opportunity to offer a wide variety of unique beers for an event like this.”

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Also released at the festival was the 2013 edition of Pugachev’s Cobra, part of the Barrel Roll series. Hangar 24 launched its Barrel Roll series with the 2010 release of Barrel Roll No. 1 – Immelmann, and so far the series has seen a total of seven unique releases. Some were single releases while others, such as Pugachev’s Cobra, are released each year. This allows the flavor of each year’s Cobra to vary since barrel-aging is not an exact science. Pugachev’s Cobra starts off as a Russian Imperial Stout made with three different roasted malts and maple syrup. Pugachev’s Cobra then spends eight months aging in a bourbon barrel and then its ready to go into its hand numbered bottles. There were only 400 bottles of Pugachev’s Cobra available during the festival or it was also on draught for those only wanted a taste.

“This event will serve as a great introduction to our barrel-aging program for the casual fan while also rewarding the hardcore beer connoisseur who may have past Barrel Rolls in their cellar at home,” said Ben Cook. “One guest could choose to sample many different, unique beers. This is called a horizontal tasting.  Another could try multiple releases of the same beer, observing how it has changed with age and across each release.  This is called a vertical tasting.”

Slaters 50/50 was on hand giving out samples of their amazing burgers. Each burger was cut into quarters and given to the hungry humans who relished the tasty morsels while they waited their turn to buy bottles or tastings. After speaking with several humans about their reaction to the Slaters 50/50 burger, many replied that it was the best burger that they had ever had.

There was live music throughout the event featuring a variety of musical styles. We even saw some humans participating in an activity they call ‘dancing.’

Here is a complete list of the beers that were available at the festival:

Line-up of beers

  • 2011 Pugachev’s Cobra
  • 2012 Pugachev’s Cobra
  • 2012 Pugachev’s Cobra Rye Whiskey Barrel
  • 2013 Pugachev’s Cobra
  • 2013 Pugachev’s Cobra Rye Whiskey Barrel
  • 2013 Pugachev’s Cobra Wheat Whiskey Barrel
  • 2010 Immelmann
  • 2012 Immelmann Rye Whiskey Barrel
  • 2013 Immelmann
  • 2013 Immelmann Rye Whiskey Barrel
  • 2013 Immelmann Wheat Whiskey Barrel
  • 2012 Hammerhead
  • 2013 Hammerhead
  • 2013 Hammerhead Brandy Barrel
  • 2012 Warmer Rye Whiskey Barrel
  • 2013 Warmer Rye Whiskey Barrel
  • 2013 Gourdgeous Bourbon Barrel
  • 2013 Gourdgeous/Hammerhead Bourbon Barrel Blend
  • 2012 4th Anniversary Rye Whiskey Barrel
  • 2013 Tailslide
  • 2013 Slow Roll
  • 2012 Chandelle
  • 2012 Humpty Bump
  • 2013 Vinaceous Brandy Barrel

Hangar 24’s Second Annual Pugachev’s Barrel-Aged Beer Festival was an amazing success. Every human we saw had a big smile on their face as they socialized, ate burgers and enjoyed some of the finest beer brewed in Southern California.

Hangar 24 Craft Brewery is located at 1710 Sessums Drive in Redlands, CA.

Hangar 24 Craft Brewery was founded in 2008 in Redlands, California and is widely known for their flagship beer, Orange Wheat. The Brewery takes its name from a specific aircraft hangar at Redlands Municipal Airport, where Founder and Master Brewer Ben Cook would hang out with friends after an afternoon of flying to talk aviation, play music and share his latest batch of homebrew. The Brewery and Tasting Room were established and still operate in a renovated hangar directly across the street. Hangar 24 embodies a true passion for good beer, the absolute love of flying and the pure enjoyment of being around great friends. www.Hangar24Brewery.com

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