Collaboration beers are hot. Crazy craft beers with odd ingredients are hotter. Crazy collaboration craft beers with odd ingredients are the hottest.
New Holland Brewing and Mutineer Magazine have many traits in common. Both are radical pioneers in their fields. Both are fine beverage evangelists. Both are fine beverage revolutionaries. And both teeter on the fine line between genius and insanity.
Genius or insanity, the two have partnered together to develop a collaboration beer project unlike any other attempted before now. It is not every day that you hear about a fine beverage magazine partnering up with a craft brewery to co-design and co-brew a collaborative beer. But that is precisely what is going down this Monday, July 12th in Holland, Michigan.
The beer collaboration project idea was sparked after the 2010 Craft Brewers Conference, where the friendship between Mutineer’s Ashley Routson and New Holland’s Fred Bueltmann transcended Twitter and Facebook into the realm of real life. After days of bonding via imbibing in the sin city of Chicago, the dangerous duo sat down to meticulously plot out a beer collaboration concept, late one evening (early morning for Fred), while virtually swilling down some craft beers and chatting on Facebook. (Social Media FOR THE WIN!)
“Mutineer Magazine has been toying with the idea of brewing our own beer for quite some time. We just needed to find someone crazy enough to do it. When I met Fred, he had crazy written all over him. I just knew he was the one.” — Ashley Routson, Mutineer Magazine Online Editor.
It didn’t take much bribing to get both teams on board with the project. Just a little bit of the ‘green fairy’… and even the skeptics fell in line. Okay, that is a lie. No one was actually bribed with absinthe. Maybe some Hopquila, but that is neither here nor there.
The beer concept originally started out as a chai-spiced Saison, but after consulting with New Holland’s head brewmaster, John Haggerty, the initial idea evolved into a more complex and multifaceted recipe. As of now, the game plan is as follows:
The base beer will be brewed with both two row barley and rye. Traditional Chai spices, with a twist (we can’t reveal all the secrets yet, you know), will be added in the last 10 minutes of the boil. Michigan beet sugar will be added to the wort and the mixture will be fermented with a Belgian Wit yeast strand.
Enter phase two. The spicy wit base beer will be spiked with unfermented brown ale wort and then undergo a secondary fermentation with Merlot yeast on oak. The desired result is an amber colored, spicy, oaky, dry, Belgian wit style ale. Sorry kids, not enough time to make it a sour.
The not-yet-named-collaboration-beer is being brewed almost exclusively for the 2010 Great American Beer Festival, where it will be released at a party of EPIC proportions at, the one and only, Falling Rock Tap House — aka THE place to be before, during and after GABF. The official time and date is Friday, September 17th at 2pm. Be there, or be sorry.
Mutineers Ashley Routson and Brian Kropf fly out to Michigan, land of some of the most amazing craft breweries, on Saturday, July 10th. Brewing is not the only thing on the agenda, though. Rumors of ninja-style bull-fighting and swine wrestling are trending all over the interwebz. Okay, this is another lie. But, horseback riding and other ranch adventures are on the docket, we promise.
The plan is … there is no plan.
“The course, destination and safety of a mutinous crew all may be suspect. Trust however, the voyage will not lack for excitement” — Fred Bueltmann, Partner at New Holland Brewing.
As of now, epicness and debauchery are certain. A crazy collaboration beer will be brewed. Dreams will come true. And history will be made. Outside of that, who knows what will happen. You will just have to follow the adventures on Facebook, Twitter, the Mutineer Blog and New Holland website to find out.
Issue 13 (released in September) will feature the entire story of the collaboration beer project. SUBSCRIBE HERE or look for the magazine on store shelves.
VIVA LA REVOLUTION!