Medal-wise, Aaron Stueck is having a phenomenal year.

“Because the pale bock that came out of this rye whisky barrel won a gold at the North American Beer Awards,” Stueck says, patting the face of an American oak barrel from Spirit Hound Distillers in Lyons. “And then the honey whisky,” he continues, pointing to the next barrel, “Swedish Farmhouse Ale won gold at GABF.”

Business-wise, Stueck is a busy bee. BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse‘s director of research and development spent 2020 working his tail off—the pandemic shifted everything in the business, and Stueck shifted along with it. Then, in March of 2021, BJ’s launched Brewhouse Beer Club, a monthly membership with access to exclusive beers. Currently, Beer Club is only available in California—Stueck says it’s coming to Colorado in 2023—but that’s not an issue for Boulder drinkers since Stueck is the one writing the recipes and pouring them under BJ’s specialty tap list: Aaron’s R&D.

And Stueck has a lot of R&D beers coming on in the very near future. Be it a barrel-aged kettle-sour that looks, sniff, and drinks like a Chardonnay, an ESB that transport you across the pond, and Dr. Engelhorn’s Nocturnal Serum. Tasting notes and the story behind the brews inside this week’s Boulder Weekly: “Reasons to explore flavor.”

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