Craft beer has become its own juggernaut. The growth over the last five years has been astronomical. We now live in a world where getting a deliciously made beer is just the matter of going down to the local grocery store for a browse. The explosion of all of these new brewers has led to something wonderful — the collaboration beer.
For the uninitiated, the collaboration beer is when two (or more) brewers get together to make something extra special. More often than not this is a massive craft brewer giving a national stage to a small local brew house that they love. They trade some proprietary yeasts, bacteria, hops, and malts and see what they can concoct. Then they compile all their new suds and ship them out to us so we can love them too… while getting a little tipsy.
This list is all about the best collaborations we’ve seen (so far) this year.
CRYSTALL BRETT — DEVILS BACKBONE BREWING COMPANY & THREE NOTCH’D BREWING COMPANY
Let’s start with the Devils Backbone Virginia Brewers Collaboration Pack. This Belgian Ale uses Brett (Brettanomyces) yeasts to create a funky straw tartness to the barnyard sour ale. Don’t expect a hop bitter bomb here. This version has an earthy taste with hints of tropical fruits underlying a very dry crispness. Overall, it’s a great introduction to Brett Ales for those of you looking to get into a new style.