Jordan Stetson (photo: Bryan Carver)

Roll out the barrels

Jordan Stetson makes wooden vessels for producers

The Brew | by Bryan Carver

Save Article Share Tweet

Most modern breweries, wineries and distilleries rely on stainless steel to ferment, store and package their products. This has not always been the case. Before the industrial age and the development of steel that could resist corrosion, wood was the material of choice for brewers, vintners and distillers.

In recent years, wooden vessels have made an ever-increasing comeback in the production of alcoholic beverages. Producers are looking for new options to elevate the quality of the liquid they produce. As the trade of copper has been virtually erased, finding suppliers for barrels and foeders (pronounced food-ers) can pose a real challenge. This barrier led Lower Freetown’s Jordan Stetson to take up the craft and start manufacturing large wooden vessels under the name New World Foeders.

Having worked as a Project Manager for Diversified Metal Engineering (DME) for a few years and with a background in construction, Jordan watched many clients in the brewing industry trying out foeders to age their beers. Typically made of quarter sawn white oak, these wooden vessels help impart subtle flavours that create a nuance and complexity in beer that adds another dimension to the flavour profile, one that you just can not get from stainless steel vessels.

After some trial and error, Jordan developed a functional design that worked for the woodshop where he creates his custom foeders. Then came the ultimate test; Jordan needed to get one of his creations into to a brewery. Eager to further their beer portfolio, Upstreet’s Mike Hogan gladly took Jordan up on his offer and the first of the New World Foeders was delivered to the brewery on Allen Street. The Upstreet brewing team has  already aged several different beers in their custom 750 litre foeder. Be sure to try these beers when they are available on tap.

Building on the success of that first sale, Jordan went on to win the Ignition Fund, a grant provided by Innovation PEI to entrepreneurs developing exciting new small businesses on PEI. Seeing as foeder manufacturers are few and far between in North America, Jordan and his creations with New World Foeders have serious potential for growth.

Recently New World Foeders has been fielding inquiries from numerous producers in the Atlantic region. Some new clients have acquired with requests ranging from a small foeder for Truro-based home brewer Mark Mackay to a 220 litre foeder for PEI’s own Deep Roots Distillery in Warren Grove. Watch for New World Foeders vessels making appearances throughout the Maritimes and beyond in the coming years.

Bryan CarverThe Brew
Bryan Carver

Professional Brewer, Certified Cicerone® and Lover of All Things Beer. Joined The Buzz team in April 2018