It's one of the major weapons in the arsenal of the internationally-renowned small-scale brewers, one which helps spread their recognition into new territories, whilst providing a fun couple of days out for the brewers: collaboration, the subject of this month's Session. For some it's a necessity: you'll see lots of Mikkeller collaboration beers, for instance, because there's no Mikkeller brewery. But the like of Stone and BrewDog -- more established breweries -- it's a way of attracting a little bit of the attention which the other one gets. Since the end result almost always tends to be top-notch beer, this is a good thing.
I'm keeping it big this time, though, with a collaboration from two giants of quality beer in the US and Germany respectively: Brooklyner-Schneider Hopfen-Weisse. You will doubtless remember the reverse version, brewed by Garrett Oliver of Brooklyn at Schneider in Kelheim and reviewed back here. The return leg involved Hans-Peter Drexler of Schneider brewing more-or-less the same recipe in Brooklyn and this is the result: a bigger, brasher American in a 75cl bottle, probably an advisable move given the large quantity of sediment in this beer.
Sadly I didn't have them side-by-side to try, but the taste is very similar: major fresh fruity American hops giving off the flavours of bitter grapefruit and sweet nectarine. These sit comfortably next to a different sort of fruitiness, a spicier kind, deriving from the yeast and the esters it produces. This harmonious combination of flavour profiles from the different ingredients is a whole other aspect of collaboration.
Let's have more joint efforts where the signature styles of completely different brewing traditions are mixed up. Dai-san biiru mild, anyone?
Westmalle Dubbel - *Origin: Belgium | Date: 2008 | ABV: 7% | On The Beer Nut: October 2007* It's a longtime favourite today. Westmalle Dubbel goes back to the very beginnings...
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