One of the benefits of having the Great American Beer Festival in Denver is that innovative brewers and craft-beer royalty make their way to town at least once a year, where they interact with Colorado's movers and shakers. The result are friendships, collaborations and other connections that usually end up benefiting local beer drinkers in the long run.
The latest collaboration took place on Tuesday when Patrick Rue of The Bruery -- the highly acclaimed Orange County beer=maker -- made his way to TRVE Brewing to cook up an unusual sour ale that will be aged in Chardonnay barrels and served at next year's Collaboration Fest in Denver.
Rue also specializes in barrel-aged beers, so the connection made sense. It was arranged by P.J. Hoberman, of Imbibe Denver, who helps run the Collaboration Fest and thought the two breweries would work together.
"These guys have a cool wild beer program," Rue said Tuesday. "We wanted to take a beer style that isn't normally funky and make it funky."
Rue worked with TRVE owner Nick Nunns and brewer Zach Coleman to create the recipe for the beer, a German-style wit made with flaked wheat and pilsner malt. It will be fermented with two kinds of wild yeast strains and aged with Lactobacillus for five months in Chardonnay barrels.
Nunns and Coleman plan to bottle it at the time and to serve it at the second annual Collaboration Fest, which is slated for March.
Last year's Collab Fest, hosted by Imbibe and the Colorado Brewers Guild, featured at least forty different projects and was designed to showcase the ways that members of the craft-brewing industry works together. Collaborations included everything from an all-female cast of Colorado Springs brewers to a roundup of several current and former brewers for the Mountain Sun and Vine Street Pub breweries, to a pairing between Ska Brewing and colleagues in Sweden.
And just to show off their collaborative spirit even further, TRVE turned around and brewed a second one, called Horns, on Wednesday, this time with Durango's Ska Brewing; this "big burly brown" will be fermented in Peach Street Whiskey barrels and served at Collab Fest as well, Nunns says.
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