Collaborative Brewing, 1+1=3

Cheers to that! Today, more than ever, breweries and co-ops of all sizes and specialties are increasingly sharing ideas, experiences, methods, and knowledge passed along for hundreds, sometimes thousands of years. What does a craft stout brewery in Brooklyn have in common with a craft lager and ale brewer in Hawaii? Not much; and that is the beauty of collaborative brewing. Recipes, crash temperatures, brewing time, and a myriad of different factors have an effect on every aspect of the beer. Every deviation, as small as it may be, has an effect on the brew, essentially, creating an exponential number of varietals of a single brew. Collaborative brewing also allows brewers with different backgrounds to try new recipes and methods to expand their own knowledge, and perhaps, pay it forward to expand the “beer hive” of expertise.

How do these groups come together? There are many ways. Many brewers do literal collaborations with other groups to produce a specific beer for a certain event or a seasonal brew. Others share spaces in co-ops and regularly work closely to exchange ideas and create new and exciting brews.

These rendezvouses don’t typically happen by accident. “At Boulevard Brewing Company in Kansas City, Missouri, beer collaborations have proved fruitful enough that each year the brewery chooses a different partner with which to pair up and create a new brew. Last year Boulevard teamed up with Ommegang on a spiced saison” says

Their combined expertise not only exposes them to new methodologies, but also, exposes their patrons (on both sides) to experience their favorite brewery while being introduced to new breweries through the collaboration.