Bryan Long has been twice blessed in the past few days. This past Saturday night, Long, assistant director of food and beverage at Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa in Manalapan, Fla., presided over the birth of the resort’s Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, a beer nine months in the making with Copperpoint Brewing Co., of nearby Boynton Beach.
Some 12 hours later, Long and his wife welcomed a baby boy into the world – also nine months in the making. But with all due respect to Baby Boy Long, let’s talk about the Imperial Stout, conceived from a bottle of nine-year-old barrel of George Dickel single barrel whiskey.
Understand that a Stout beer is not really designed for South Florida, but Copperpoint Master Brewer Matt Cox did an outstanding job of creating a brew with that blends chocolate, coffee and fig flavors with a hint of the barrel aging.
“I think it exceeded our expectations,’’ Long said. “You always want things to be great, but you never know how it’s all going to react in the barrel.
“We checked on it multiple times and the master brewer would actually crack open the barrel so we could try it. I’m certainly proud of it.’’
The barrel produced 240 bottles of Imperial Stout, which the resort sells at its restaurants and bars for $24 per bottle.
“It’s truly one of a kind beer that we can’t duplicate or replicate,’’ Long said. “To be able to do something like this in a luxury environment – and set the bar for what beer means in a luxury hotel – is very exciting.’’
The excitement could just be beginning. Long is planning his next barrel-aged beer.
“I’m not sure what (the barrel) is going to be,’’ he said, “but we’re leaning toward tequila.’’