Colorado’s craft brewers reveal who their fantasy beer collaboration would be with
The dream teams of Colorado craft beer...
When great artists, scientists and creators collaborate, really bad ass things can happen: together, the Wright brothers gave the world wings, Watson and Crick illuminated the genetic structure of life itself, Jobs and Wozniak changed computer technology forever and Ben and Jerry brought the world 31 incredible flavors of ice cream.
It’s certainly no secret: two heads are better than one.
And when it comes to beer and brewers that wisdom holds just as true. Put two master brewers on a team to work together on a single beer and magic happens.
Which, is exactly why brewer collaborations are becoming so popular. Brewers are pairing off and teaming up with other brewers who they’re curious about and interested in. Brewery teams are testing the waters, experimenting with their peers to create beers that the world has never seen or imagined before. There’s even a festival (Collab Fest) dedicated entirely to this boozy breed of collaboration.
But, what if Colorado’s most innovative brewers could choose any brewer in the world to work with? What if they could pick literally anyone, anywhere? Who would our brewers’ fantasy collaborations be with?
We asked. And here’s what they told us:
Michael Mesmic, Co-Founder and CEO, Sanitas Brewing
“I would really like to collaborate with Sam Calagione out of Dogfish Head. I think Sam's a really interesting character and Dogfish has always been a brewery that I like a lot and I think they've made some really quality beers over the years … He's done a phenomenal job of marketing himself and his brand while staying true to their brewing roots, and I think that's a really difficult thing to do.”
Josh Rapp, Brewhouse Master, Avery Brewing
“It would have to be Brauerie Aying in Aying, Germany. They make my favorite Kellerbier in the world. It, unfortunately, doesn't travel well but if you're able to make it to Germany and try one fresh it's incredible. I'd really love to see how the brewers at Ayinger do what they do so I'd really love to collaborate with them.”
Kurt Randall, Head Brewer, Ska Brewing
“I have been a huge fan of Chimay since my first taste of it. I would love to check out their facility and spend some time brewing with Monks. I grew up in Glenwood Springs and my parents are catholic. I had the pleasure of getting to know a number of the monks at the Monastery up in Old Snowmass.”
Branden Miller, Co-Founder and Director of Operations, Black Shirt Brewing
“It would probably be with Tired Hands out of Ardmore, Pennsylvania. Jean is a unicorn to me and I feel like I could learn more in 10 minutes on the brew deck with him than a lifetime with so many other brewers.”
Cody Reif, Product Research & Design Brewer, New Belgium Brewing
“Probably Jeffrey Stuffings at Jester King. I love how he has approached incorporating traditional Belgian brewing techniques (mixed and spontaneous fermentations) into a new time and country. It’s the next generation of beers with a strong sense of place.”
Mike Lawinski, Owner/Founder, Twisted Pine
“Petrus Aged pale brewed by De Brabandere out of Belgium is an all-time favorite. It would certainly be a dream to collaborate on a beer that gets aged in one of their giant fouders.”
David Zuckerman, Brewmaster, Boulder Beer
“This is me speaking, not anyone on my staff, but I really love the beers that Fullers makes in London. They’re just all beautifully mild and balanced and rounded and just really beautiful beers.”
Danny Oberle, Production Coordinator, Crooked Stave
“I do still want to make it out to Brasserie de la Senne over in Belgium and brew with Yvan De Baets. He's one of the greatest saison makers in the world, and he has been out to our brewery for a collab, now it's time to repay the favor!”
Tim Matthews, Head Brewer, Oskar Blues
“Probably Augustiner in Germany. If they would let me in! I did see the brewery once, but I was learning some of the intricacies of how they go about their production of their awesome pilsner and awesome helles. Yeah that’d be fun.”
Brett Williams, Founder, Co-owner, Director of Brewing, Little Machine Beer
“It would be fun to make Saison with Brasserie Fantôme. I always brew Saison with a nod to the origin of the style, which was on the farm and with whatever you had. So, I like to switch up the grains and spices and things used with the seasons. We call it “Spirit of the Game” and it’s always similar but different each batch. Fantôme embraces the same concept and is super elusive about it which makes it fun.”
Jeff Doyle, Brewer, Odell Brewing Company
“My currently domesticated lifestyle leads me to think it would be someone who lives remotely and uses simple ancient methods perfected through generations of experience and variability. Gotta dream big.”
Aly (Co-founder) and Chase Sanguily, CEO, Brewmaster, Roaring Fork Beer Company
“Jack’s Abby because we like their dedication to lagers and their IPL is a beer that's easily drinkable every day. Might be my favorite in the world.”
Ryan Wibby, Co-Founder and Brewmaster, Wibby Brewing
“Augistiner-brau out of Munich, Germany. I studied in Germany for a year, getting my brewmastery there, and every beer, 9 out of 10 beers that I had was an Augistiner Helles. I would just love to collaborate with them as they have been brewing beer for hundreds of years. They still traditionally make their own malt, and that’s where I think their beer just really stands out. That hand-crafted flavor and their devotion to consistency and technology engineering efficiency just gets me really excited as a brewer. And plus their beers are just super delicious and drinkable.”