Barrel-Aged Beer Advent Calendar Day #9: Laurelwood Seasons Change

Weather changes, the year changes and also Laurelwood Seasons Change. This 2018 release is back to quell the wintertime blues now at Laurelwood Brewing’s pub in northeast Portland. Seasons Change was designed by former Lwood head brewer Eric Ebel from a stronger version of the brewery’s pumpkin beer to be aged in barrels. No pumpkins were harmed in the making of Seasons Change though, it’s flavors are quite different.

As we count down the 24 days of December leading up to Christmas, we are highlighting one barrel-aged beer each day. View all of the beers on this year’s Barrel-Aged Beer advent calendar after they have been posted at

Though Seasons Change was based on a pumpkin beer recipe, it’s has neither squash nor traditional pumpkin pie spice flavorings. Instead, it has Ecuadorian cacao nibs from Meridian Cacao Co., vanilla beans from Madagascar, and both South and Central American coffee beans. Lactose milk sugar was added on the cold side of production to bring out a silkier body and mouthfeel.

The spicing blend was chosen to compliment the barrel-aging, as was the fresh, minty and floral Northern Brewer hops, biscuity malt and the touch of roasted barley. The barrels were both whiskey and rum that impart spicy oak, vanilla tannins and rums characteristic molasses, brown sugar, coconut and caramel.

“The end result is a complex yet remarkably smooth Amber ale with flavor and aroma of coffee and chocolate followed by rich spice and caramelized sugar,” says Laurelwood head brewer Jon Boerner. “Just enough warming alcohol and spice to help with the transitioning seasons.”

Seasons Change is 9% ABV and only 20 IBU’s. 500ml bottles are available at the brewery now.

Samurai Artist
Samurai Artist

Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact: