The “Best Mates Collection” not only rounds out the 2022 edition of our Brewmaster’s Collective beer club, but also it features the return of two barrel-aged classics: Sucaba and Parabajava.
While Sucaba is a member-exclusive, Parabajava is now available online and at our locations in a limited small-batch release. If you want to get in on the action, consider enrolling in the 2023 season of the club.
Keep reading for the lowdown on both beers.
Sucaba was one of the first components created as part of our annual barrel-aged Anniversary Ale blend starting in 2006. Sucaba has ever since remained a part of our Proprietor’s Vintage family of barrel-aged beers, but sightings of it have been relatively rare in recent years – until now.
“It’s been years since we released a batch of Sucaba, but it still has a cult following,” said Barrel Program Manager Eric Ponce. “People kept asking when it might be back, so we answered the call with this latest release.”
Sucaba is a barrel-aged English barleywine that remains confoundingly unpronounceable yet eminently drinkable. Longtime fans know Sucaba by its original name, which was undone by a two-bit legal challenge. It has been many years since we reversed course and changed the name to Sucaba, but who’s counting?
For the 2022 Sucaba, Eric stayed true to the original recipe and, as always, aged it for a year in bourbon barrels. The beauty of Sucaba is that the English barleywine style offers a lighter textural canvas, allowing the barrel character to predominate. “This base style isn’t thick, viscous, or heavy on roasted malts, so you get these beautiful notes of bourbon and oak that shine through the beer,” Eric said.
Current members can purchase additional bottles at our online store.
Parabajava is one of the original variants of our iconic Parabola barrel-aged imperial stout, the only difference being an infusion of premium fresh-roast coffee beans – the perfect ingredient to amplify Parabola’s dark, roasty character.
For this edition, we chose Ethiopia Kayon beans provided by the incomparable HoneyCo Coffee Roasters in nearby San Luis Obispo. This selection’s fresh aromatic roast, complex nougat flavors, and subtle fruitiness was chosen to bring out the best in Parabola.
The trick, as always, was extracting just the right amount of coffee character. First, the beer was aged for a year in premium bourbon barrels. Then it was racked to a holding tank, where it was circulated through the batch of whole-roasted Ethiopia Kayon beans for a period of 12 hours. “We found that to be just the right amount of time to get all of the flavors and aromas we wanted without veering into bitterness,” Eric said.
He added, “Parabola always has these roasty, chocolaty, and fruity notes, but the coffee infusion intensifies these qualities while adding a layer of espresso-coffee flavor.”
Brewmaster’s Collective Membership
If you’re interested in beers like Sucaba and Parabajava, plus getting tons of additional perks like discounts on beer, merch, and taproom visits and access to members-only events, consider joining the 2023 season of our Brewmaster’s Collective beer club. Enrollment is open to people 21 and over in California, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington D.C. Learn more about what membership entails at the club website. But hurry, enrollment closes at the end of this year.