Oak’d Wee Heavy Recipe

One of our early bar experiences was the Thursday and Friday happy hours at the Heidelburg. There was either a free taco bar or hot wings, but more glorious was the $2.50 bottles of Arcadia Ales. I like a lot of what Arcadia does, but their Scotch Ale will forever have a place in my liver after that summer.  We wanted to created a beer that had that great malt backbone, a decent sweetness and a good kick of alcohol.  To try something new, we also wanted to do some faux bourbon barrel aging. Tasting notes are below the recipe.


  • 8lbs Golden Promise
  • .5lb 40L Crystal
  • .25 Aromatic Malt
  • .25 Munich
  • .25 Biscuit Malt
  • .1lb Roasted Barley
  • .1lb Black Patent Malt

We did a 60 minute, single infusion mash at about 155ºF. We sparged with about 5 gallons of water to end up with about 6g of runnings.


  • 2lbs Light Malt Extract
  • 1lb Brown Sugar or Golden Syrup
  • 1.5oz EKG at 60 minutes
  • .25oz Fuggles and .5oz EKG at 15 minutes
  • .75oz Fuggles dry hopped


We used Wyeast 1728 without a starter. After about 10 days of primary fermentation, we moved it to secondary with French Roasted Oak chips that had been soaking in Jack Daniels for at least two hours*. We pulled a little out to taste it every so often, and when the flavor seemed balanced, we racked it into a keg and force carbed it.

*We pulled the wood chips out and strained the whiskey into a glass on the rocks. You get some very nice added smokiness and vanilla in the Jack Daniels from the chips.

Tasting Notes

This is one  of my favorite beers that we’ve ever made. This along with our Peanut Butter Porter are the only beers we have made twice. The first time we made this it was also our first successful kegging attempt, and the keg was empty in a little over a week. This time, we decided to try to savor it more; although, it still didn’t last very long.

The ale pours a dark, reddish brown with a generally thick, cream colored head. You instantly smell the bourbon but there is also very nice malt sweetness along with it. The beer has a rich, velvety mouthfeel that is very smooth. The flavor from the oak and bourbon is mainly caramels and vanillas that add a depth to the malt flavor of the basic scotch ale. If you enjoy malty beers, definitely give this one a go.

Ann Arbor Beer Week

This Monday through Thursday, it’s officially beer week in Ann Arbor. Bars across town are participating in special events to commemorate the week, and there are a few special events around town as well. First, the week-long deals:

  • Arbor Brewing Company – $3 select draughts 4-7pm.
  • Arena – $3 draughts 4-7pm, $3.25 Michigan draughts 10pm-close.
  • Ashley’s – $1 off draughts 3-6pm, Appetizer specials 3-6pm.
  • Bar Louie – $3 draughts 4-7pm.
  • Blue Leprechaun – $2 Miller Lite all day.
  • Cottage Inn – $2.50 draughts, half-off appetizers 3pm-close Monday-Wednesday only. Bell’s Poolside Ale available all week.
  • Old Town 0 $1 off Michigan beers 4-6pm and 10pm-close.
  • Tio’s – $1 off draughts and Mexican beers 3-6pm.
Arbor Brewing Company

Arbor Brewing Company Presents The 2nd Annual A2 Beer Week

The special events throughout the week include Monday beer trivia at Ashley’s, Tuesday discounts at all participating bars (the above plus Alley Bar) if you wear a Michigan beer t-shirt, Bar Golf on Wednesday, and an American Craft Beer Celebration at Arbor on Thursday. This week is the kick-off for Arbor’s 15th Anniversary Weekend, so check out their website for ticket info and further details. More on the Anniversary Weekend (including details on the street party on Friday) later in the week.

This is a very odd lineup, especially for a “beer week” event. Blue Leprechaun and Tio’s, in particular, are not exactly beer bars, and the rest are questionable inclusions to varying degrees. It would have been nice to see some other legit beer bars and microbreweries (Blue Tractor, Grizzly Peak, Jolly Pumpkin) on the roster.

Drink Beer, Support Wolverines

A hearty tip ‘o the cap to user James Burrill Angell of the day job for bringing this to my attention.

Next Saturday the Jolly Pumpkin taphouse in downtown Ann Arbor will be hosting an event to support the Pat Maloy Cancer Scholarship and the UM Club of Greater Detroit’s Scholarship fund. Blue Tractor, Jolly Pumpkin, and Grizzly Peak are participating in the event, each pairing food dishes with beers from their breweries.

Guests have the opportunity to vote for their favorite pairings, and the winning restaurant will be awarded the Maize and Blue Cup. Proceeds go to a good cause, so check it out. More details on the official .pdf.