Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Collaboration Nation

Collaboration beers started making their appearance a few years ago - the first one I recall seeing was Collaboration, not Litigation by Avery and Russian River. (Still one of the best collaboration beer names yet.) If you don't know the story, here's how Avery tells it on their website:

The name of two intricate Belgian-style ales, created by us, Vinnie Cilurzo of Russian River Brewing and Adam Avery of Avery Brewing. After becoming friends a few years ago, we realized we both had a Salvation in our lineups. Was it going to be a problem? Should one of us relinquish the name rights? “Hell, no!” we said. In fact, it was quickly decided that we should blend the brews to catch the best qualities of each and create an even more complex and rich libation. In April 2004, in a top secret meeting at Russian River Brewing (well, actually it was packed in the pub and many were looking over our shoulders wondering what the hell was going on), we came up with the perfect blend of the two Salvations. Natalie, Vinnie’s much more significant other, exclaimed, “We should call this Collaboration, not Litigation Ale!” “Perfect,” we shouted! We celebrated deep into the night (or is that morning?). Fast forward to November 14, 2006. After talking about it for over two years, we finally decided to pull the trigger and Vinnie made the journey to Avery Brewing to brew his Salvation exactly as he does in his brewery.

But they're far from the only ones. Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head put together a brew they called "Life and Limb". De Proef and Bell's got together to make their delicious dark Belgian ale with cherry juice. And we all know about Boulevard's latest collaboration between Stephen Pauwels and Jean-Marie Rock.

And another collaboration beer enters the fray. The brewers at Schlafly, O'Fallon, and New Albanian got together last fall to brew their own collaborative beer - a dry-hopped, oak-aged, smoked rye pale ale. Yeah, you read that right. Mike over at STLhops.com put up some pictures of the brew day a while back, as well as some information about the beer.

So what does a dry-hopped, oak-aged, smoked rye pale ale taste like? You can read about it on Hoosier Beer Geek. Or, you can go to Flying Saucer on Thursday and taste it for yourself. See you there.


  1. Have you seen BOTTLES of Life & Limb, the collab between Sierra Nevada and Dogfish in the KC market. I heard STL has them but I have never seen them here

  2. I never saw L&L in bottles, just the few kegs

  3. If bottles are just now hitting STL, it may be making its way over to KC in a little while.

    Wonder if we'll ever see Limb & Life over here.

  4. I would probably place the genesis of collaborations in the Collaborator project between the Oregon Brew Crew and Widmer, which dates to 1998.


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