Entente Cordiale is our English-style barleywine aged in French Cognac barrels with Ugandan vanilla beans, orange peel, and cocoa nibs. Peter Kiley, head brewer and barrel program manager at the Garage, talks about the development and teamwork that led to its development.
How did Entente Cordiale get started?
“In 2016, we brewed a wheat wine (Laissez-Faire), and we had so much fun making that, we figured that we should make a barleywine.”
We liked the idea of an English over an American style because it had a lot more of the toffee and chocolate flavors we wanted. Josh Johnson, our creative brewer, did such an amazing job of conceptualizing the recipe and executing on it.”
Where did the idea of aging it in Cognac barrels come from?
Several months ago, I was in France picking up our foeders for the Garage. I was able to try so many of these different, amazing Cognacs. So many had these great floral and citrus notes, and I was inspired to use those barrels for this beer. I knew I couldn’t get floral into an English barleywine because that would play against the decadence of the recipe, but we thought that cocoa nibs, vanilla, and orange peel would be a winning combination.
When we first pulled it out, I thought that the orange peel and vanilla would be there, but the barleywine was coming out a little hot, so that’s where the cocoa nibs came in, to bring harmony to a beer.
This was truly a group effort beer. Just doing that resulted in something that we’re very proud of here. And it’s different. We don’t want to do what everyone else is doing, but we also don’t want to over craft.”