What is a Foeder? Basically, it is a large barrel or oak vessel used to age wine and, as of late, many breweries have begun to use them as well. Breweries like New Belgium Brewing, Epic Brewing Company, Crooked Stave and Deschutes are using them for sour beer production and beyond. Although most popular for sour beers, you can add a matured oak character to any beer, such as porters, stouts, English ales, lagers and pilsners. Pilsners?! Yes, Pilsners. We have tasted a few excellent pilsners matured in foeders recently. We were so impressed, we decided to bring them in for our amazing customers to play with. Don't delay, get your foeder today!
This model stand vertically, which compared to horizontal foeders, takes up a much smaller footprint in your brewery or winery. The longer, skinnier design also allows for a higher wood surface to beverage ratio. The oak is porous, so it will retain the character and living microbes of previous batches. Many sour beer producers choose to let the oak inoculate the next batch and treat the barrel as a living entity. We hope that you choose to give this vessel a loving home, with kids and a backyard, or maybe just a temperate, moderately humid production facility.
Balazs barrels is a long-trusted brand of Hungarian oak barrels coopered by the famous Balazs Nagy. These barrels are equal or better in quality to French Oak barrels but available at a fraction of the cost of their more famous counterparts. Renowned for respecting fruit, Hungarian barrels offer winemakers a great option to impact the mouthfeel, structure and flavor of wine without stepping on the terroir of your grapes.
Due to the tight grain and slow release of phenolic compounds, you can feel secure storing your wine in Hungarian barrels longer than you can with other barrels. The slow process of micro oxygenation rounds the wine while various compounds in the wood such hemicellulose, lipids, and lignins are slowly integrated.
As most barrel makers know, the best source of wood for wine barrels is the oak grown in the territory of old-time Hungary, known as Slavonian oak. This rare, high-quality oak can be found in the Zemplén Mountains and in the Tokaj oak woods. The specific type of oak in those territories, and what is used in Balazs barrels, is the Quercus Petrea. This oak is characterised by a dense, hard structure combined with extra flavor. Forestry workers look after these forests with considerable expertise, and the forest density ratio in Hungary is 20–24%, with selective logging taking place between November and April.
Balázs Barrels is establishing a direct cooperation with the forestry workers, ensuring the continuous supply of the best quality oak, allowing them to source and work with the most excellent oak for wine barrel manufacturing from the foremost Hungarian forests.
Please note: example photos are of 3.5 HL / 3 bbl unit.