Goodwood brewmaster Joel Halbleib | Courtesy of Goodwood

Joel Halbleib has been in the brewing business for more than 28 years, and he’s made quite a name for himself since settling in at Goodwood Brewing Co., formerly the BBC Taproom. Good brewers like to perfect the standards — stouts, IPAs, pilsners, etc. — but they also like to play.

And it’s to the consumer’s benefit when they experiment with their craft and change up old-school ways with fresher ideas and methods. Case in point: Halbleib’s new Rare Wood Series, which launches on Saturday, Jan. 21, at the NuLu brewery from 2-6 p.m.

The five new one-off beers come from various experimental methods and include barrel-aged, imperial and sour brews. At the afternoon event, four will be on tap — Black Blood of The Earth (an imperial stout); Scarlett Stout (a wine barrel-aged stout); Java Black Blood of The Earth (a coffee-infused stout); and Big Fella (a bourbon barrel-aged stout) — while one, the Ruby Red Oz (a wine barrel-aged ale), will be available in a 500ml bottle.

Get the first Rare Wood bottle on Saturday. | Courtesy of Goodwood

Halbleib tells Insider the series showcases the creativity of Goodwood, while also introducing its customers to different finishes on typical beers.

“I am very excited about the Rare Wood Series and the opportunities that brewing on this scale opens,” he says. “I have been able to pull a few barrels from the archive that showed some very complex and unique characteristics.”

For instance, the Ruby Red Oz was aged in a barrel that once housed ruby port, which added some pretty unique flavors of tang, dark fruit and even oak to the amber ale.

All the Rare Wood beers are available in limited supply, even the bottles, so it’s best to stop by Saturday for a tasting of each.

Goodwood is located at 636 E. Main St.

We caught up with Halbleib as he was putting the final touches on the brew to ask some very important questions …

The sunrise at Hawaii’s Mt. Haleakala

What’s the most surprising thing on your Bucket List?

Attain enlightenment, oh, and seeing the sunrise at Mt. Haleakala.

What poster was on your wall in junior high?

Pink Floyd. Having two older brothers helped my music taste.

If you were mayor, to whom would you give the key to the city?

(Louisville developer) Bill Weyland, if he does not have one yet. But there are tons of people deserving who live by the following quote, “There is no limit to the amount of good one can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.”

What are your preferred pizza toppings?

Oregano, basil, garlic, prosciutto and roma tomatoes.

Spacing out with Neil deGrasse Tyson.

If you could be any age for a week, what would it be?

23 — with what I know now.

What famous person do people say you resemble the most?

Never happened, but I have heard of a couple of celebs being mistaken for me.

Who would you most like to be stuck with in an elevator?

(Scientist and author) Neil deGrasse Tyson.

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Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle ( She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."