Sunday, December 17th, 2023

Fancy Pants Sunday: Block 15 Hair of the Peach


Fancy Pants Sunday: Block 15 Hair of the Peach

Hair of the Dog Brewing founder and head brewery Alan Sprints hasn’t fully accepted his retirement and subsequent brewery’s closure. Apparently, if you receive a call from Block 15 Brewing to collaborate and help launch a new series of barrel-aged beers for the Corvallis-based brewery, aptly named Pick of the Litter, then you get a wild hair and search your closet for your brewing boots. It’s what Sprints did; Block 15 even named the barleywine after his brewery. The beer, Hair of the Peach, fits our Sunday fancy, big beer column, which we titled this week, Fancy Pants Sunday: Block 15 Hair of the Peach.

Pick of the Litter is a collaborative blend series emphasizing spirit, creativity, and uniqueness with Block 15’s brewing friends. The series is expected to run two years, with a release each quarter. Hair of the Peach kicked off the series last month.

“I am beyond excited to collaborate with a trailblazing brewmaster like Alan Sprints,” Block 15 Brewing Production Manager Garrison Schmidt told “In January 2023, we got the opportunity to personally taste through Hair of the Dog’s collection of remaining barrels and selected our favorites to bring home and design complimentary brews. I’m looking forward to the upcoming projects and releases and what we have to share with our fans of Hair of the Dog and Block 15 Brewing.”

People made pilgrimages to Portland, Oregon, for Alan Sprints’ beer since the dark ages — back when hazy and sour beers weren’t made that way intentionally in 1994. His Hair of The Dog Brewing was proud to be one of the first breweries in America specializing in the production of high alcohol, bottle conditioned beers as well as experimenting with the barrel aging. Sprints had 180-plus oak barrels used to age his beer. His most popular beer, Fred, was created to honor Oregon beer writer and historian Fred Eckhard, who inspired Sprints to enter the industry. Fred, a golden strong ale (10%), which drank like a barleywine, is brewed with aromatic and rye malts plus 10 different hop varieties.

Block 15 Brewing’s name hails from Corvallis’ previous incarnation as Marysville and the old plat map location from the old town. Originally built in 1926 for the Gazette-Times newspaper, Block 15’s original building is blocks from both Oregon State’s campus and Corvallis’ riverfront park. In early 2008, homebrewers Nick and Kristen Arzner opened Block 15 in the building serving beers true-to-style with ingredients imported from different parts of the world, along with all the Willamette Valley produced grains, hops, fruits, herbs, and yeast. The brewery built a reputation for first-rate IPAs including early cryo hop usage, rock-solid renditions of classic recipes from around the world and a dazzling variety of Belgian-style brews, including cask-conditioned specialties with wild yeasts and exotic flavors.

Hair of the Peach (10.4%) blends Sprints’ 2015 Peach Fred stored in bourbon barrels with fresh Block 15 Brewing barleywine and then re-fermented in the summer of 2023 on Willamette Valley apricots from EZ orchards. Expect notes state that the beer offers layers of peach leather, almond pits, and apricot flesh, with malt complexity.

Block 15’s Hair of the Peach awaits in the Peaks & Pints cooler, and will be part of an in0-house flight during our “A Barleywine Carol,” Peaks’ annual barleywine tap takeover Wednesday, Dec. 20.

You fancy, Block 15 Hair of the Peach!

LINK: Peaks & Pints beer and cider cooler inventory