Barley's Smokehouse in Columbus has a special beer coming on tap: Fortune Teller East India Imperial Porter. At this point, every beer drinker knows the story of how the British hopped up their ales to preserve them on long trips to India by ship. Thus the term India pale ale. "What I discovered, though, is that IPAs were shipped only for officers' consumption," Barley's owner Lenny Kolada said in an email. "Porters were the main beer consumed by the masses at the time, so a hopped up version of porter was brewed to be consumed by the enlisted troops ... We thought that the historical hop rate was a bit much for us to duplicate, and we decided to up the grain bill a bit to balance out the flavors. The result is a hoppy 'imperial' porter that we think will clock in at 7.5 percent alcohol by volume. We're not sure but this may be the first hoppy high gravity porter in the USA. At least we're not aware of anyone else who has brewed a porter patterned after the historical British one." Kolada wasn't sure when the Fortune Teller will be on tap yet.
If that weren't enough reason to visit Barley's, the brewpubs -- there are two locations -- also picked up two Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels this week. The Barley's Barleywine is going into one at the downtown location, and Fortune Teller will go into the other at the Smokehouse. "We don't have a name for the barrel-conditioned Fortune Teller yet, but it will be a jolt with the bourbon and vanilla notes we expect to get," Kolada said. (Below is a photo of brewer Angelo Signorino with the barrels.)