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FIRST LOOK: MadTree Bourbon Barrel Axis Mundi Bottle


Bottling line

What began as a cruel April Fool’s joke a year ago has come full-circle as Ohio’s first canning craft brewery is set to bottle their first beer. MadTree Brewing is releasing their bourbon barrel aged Axis Mundi Russian Imperial Stout as the first of their Trunk Series of bottle releases. It marks the first bottled beer in MadTree’s brief, but robust two-year history and I have a copy of their official label that has just received federal approval.


Early mock-up

Those who follow this blog closely may recall I first revealed bottling plans in June 2014 and MadTree themselves dropped a hint just two weeks ago on April Fool’s Day with this bottle mock-up — which I think many thought was a joke. Alas, it was not and we can all rejoice for the arrival of the Trunk Series! Plus, we don’t have a very long wait as it is very likely to show up around the first week of May. It’s debut will be shortly after the much anticipated release of Citra High in cans.

Bourbon Barrel Aged Axis Mundi

One of my personal favorites in their arsenal of big beers, BA Mundi has been one of their longest running and most popular barrel aged beers to date. Naturally, the name Axis Mundi itself has a tree meaning. The new label provides a glimpse into meaning of Axis Mundi and the essence behind the beer.

Ancient Siberians believed there was a ‘World Tree’ called the Axis Mundi that connected the different worlds through its roots and branches. Within this bottle is the undeniable proof of a link discovered between the worlds of brewing and distilling. Repurposed American oak bourbon barrels are filled with Russian Imperial Stout which digs down to its ancestral roots and is tucked away until the proper time to be unearthed, releasing the flavors as rich and dark as the soil the World Tree thrives in.



FYI – the wax shown in the mock-up probably won’t make it to the final product but that’s only a speed bump between your bottle opener and your belly.

Trunk Series

Barrel aged Axis Mundi is just the first in a planned lineup of bottled special releases making up their new Trunk Series. The Trunk Series story really sets the stage for what they intend to showcase with these beers.

When you scrape away the bark of a tree, you start to discover its age and character. Ring after ring, nature reveals the kind of magnificence that only the passage of time can bring. Savor this beer and enjoy the many layers of MadTree.

“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” – Leo Tolstoy

They will begin to regularly bottle the wide variety of barrel aged beers in their lineup ranging from Axis Mundi to Happy Amber to Thundersnow to the many varieties of sour beers that have been gracefully aging over the months and years. We may see new bottles as frequently as once per month but I would anticipate the pace to be a little slower out of the gate. The bottle size will be 16.9oz/500ml – so in-between Rhinegeist’s 22oz bombers and Jackie O’s 12.7oz/375ml special release bottles.


Stay tuned for specific release details in the coming weeks. You know this will be a hot ticket for beer nerds!

Mike Stuart

Craft beer enthusiast and hombrew dabbler. Part-time writer, sometimes funny.

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