The barrel-aged beer trend that’s been percolating for the past few years has hit big in Houston, with breweries likeĀ Karbach, Saint Arnold, and Buffalo Bayou all experimenting with the technique.

As Karbach’s Hay Merchant demonstrates, the choice of barrel is open for interpretation. The beer is a 2.0 version of the brewery’s Rodeo Clown double IPA, the difference being that the original ale has taken a nap in barrels previously used to age merlot. Then there is Bishop’s Barrel series at Saint Anthony, which includes an imperial stout that gets a nine-month bourbon-barrel treatment.

And for Buffalo Bayou’s Gingerbread, it’s whiskey barrels that impart the new depths of flavor.

For more on why a brewery would want to age their beers in barrels in the first place, we turned to Full Sail Brewing in Oregon, which has a 16-year history with he technique. As the video above explains, the key is to build a beer with enough backbone to stand up to the not only the aging, but the character of the barrel’s previous content as well.

[via Culture Map Houston]