The Rare Barrel

The Rare Barrel
Industry Alcoholic beverage
Founded 2013
Headquarters Berkeley, California
Products Beer
Production output
400 barrels
Owner Jay Goodwin, Alex Wallash, Brad Goodwin

The Rare Barrel is a brewery and brewpub in Berkeley, California. USA, that exclusively produces sour beers.


Founders Jay Goodwin and Alex Wallash met while attending UCSB. They started home-brewing in their apartment[1] and decided that they would one day start a brewery together. Goodwin started working at The Bruery, where he worked his way from a production assistant to brewer, eventually becoming the head of their barrel aging program[2] where he learned how to make sour beer. The Rare Barrel brewed its first batch of beer in February 2013[3] and opened its tasting room on December 27, 2013.[4]

The Rare Barrel was named for "ph1" a barrel used to make the original batch of La Folie in 2000 by New Belgium Brewing based out of Boulder, Colorado.[5] In homage of the original "Rare Barrel", every year the brewery along with its customers and peers select the best barrel of beer and name it "The Rare Barrel" for that year.[6]

The "ph1" barrel was gifted to The Rare Barrel by New Belgium in 2015 and as of 2016 is currently active, used to age dark sour beer.[7]


The Rare Barrel only makes sour beers which are aged for an extended period of time in oak barrels; all of their sour beers will age on wood for anywhere from six to 36 months. Their beers are fermented with a combination of Brettanomyces yeast and Lactobacillus and/or Pediococcus bacteria.[8] Lactobacillus and Pediococcus bacteria are both responsible for creating lactic acid and acetic acid, which make the beers acidic and taste sour.

The Rare Barrel currently produces its brews in small-batch quantities, which can range anywhere from one to 10 oak barrels in volume. The brewery's on-site tasting room provides an outlet for showcasing the brewery's single barrel experiments. The Rare Barrel also maintains the Founder's Club program that provides members with exclusive access to some of the brewery's limited releases.[9]


Name Style Honors
Apropos of Nothing Gold Sour with Raspberries and Lavender 2015 Great American Beer Festival Bronze
Cosmic Dust Golden Sour 2014 Great American Beer Festival Gold
Ensorcelled Dark Sour Ale with Raspberries 2015 Great American Beer Festival Silver, 2014 World Beer Cup Gold
Shadows of Their Eyes Dark Sour Ale 2014 World Beer Cup Bronze

See also


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