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Those Foeders Are Full of Spirit

Like big, brown Easter eggs that contain surprises unique to each producer, some unusually shaped oak vessels for aging and blending are appearing in a few distilleries. While they aren’t for everyone, their owners tend to praise their impressive look and small footprint.

Tiney Ricciardi Jun 20, 2024 - 10 min read

Those Foeders Are Full of Spirit Primary Image

Photos Courtesy Foeder Crafters of America

Take a tour of Storm King Distilling in Montrose, Colorado, and you’ll see many of the usual production staples—a 1,000-liter still, stainless tanks for mashing and fermentation, and bottles and labels ready to finish products for distribution.

Finally, along the eastern wall of the facility, there’s a striking wooden vessel that holds the distillery’s flagship product: a blended whiskey called Side Gig.

This is no ordinary foeder—or, at least, it doesn’t look like one. The egg-shaped vessel stands seven feet tall—or a bit more than two meters—and it’s five feet wide at its broadest point, near the bottom. And, because it’s technically a horizontal foeder, it protrudes only two-and-a-half feet out from the wall. Looking at it head on, it appears almost two-dimensional.

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Tiney Ricciardi is a Colorado-based journalist who covers beer, spirits, cannabis, and other "earthly delights." She's also a staff reporter for The Denver Post.