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Eco-Friendly Barrel Reduces Oak And Preserves Flavor

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Oak barrels have been used for hundreds of years to make our favorites spirits. But is the traditional design as sustainable as it can be? For context, one oak tree can produce about two to five oak barrels. Essentially, large scale beer and wine require a small forest of oak trees at all times to keep their cellars full. Since those barrels have a limited life span, older brewers, and vintners need to cut down hundreds of oak trees over time. Consequently, there is always a demand for barrels. The main issue is that only 30 percent of traditional oak barrels is used to create the flavor. The rest of the wood is used in the barrel’s outer structure, which is essentially a waste.

Russ Karasch saw this problem and decided to upgrade the vintage design. As a result, he created Squarrel, a sustainable square shaped barrel that is both reusable and customizable. Karasch created a stainless steel frame to give the barrel support. Once made, the frame can be used over and over again.  

Squarrel Barrels stacking up efficiently against stills. #craftspirits #craftbeer #barrelaged

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