Sunday, September 13, 2009

Collaboration brew with NABC and The Livery is Tuesday, Sept. 15. Then we all drink Wet Knobs.

While wandering the grounds during the prelude to the 2009 Great Taste of the Midwest, I happened upon one of my casual acquaintances. Lamenting the presence of so many choices and so little time, I asked for a recommendation. My contact, knowing my preference for sourness and barrel-aging, told me to visit The Livery’s booth. I did, and was impressed with the Benton Harbor, Michigan brewery's “Hand-Forged Microbrews.”

Ironically, at just about the same time, NABC’s Grant Line brewer of record, Jared Williamson, was reaching the same conclusion. I’ll let Jared take it from here (e-mail from roughly two weeks ago).

At GTMW I met Steve Berthel, The Livery's brewmaster, and after trying his brews I was quite impressed. He's into lots of sour barrel aging and blending. Through our conversation, he realized he would be traveling right past us in a return trip from a wedding in the Southeast in mid-September. I told him we should collaborate and brew something, and we exchanged cards and went on our merry ways.

Then he e-mailed me and said he is still up to it, if we are still willing. I asked what he might want to do, and his response was a Belgian IPA, and sour barrel-aging some of it. That’s funny, because I was planning on doing a BIPA in mid-September, and thinking of aging some of it as well. So, is it cool to move forward?

Of course, the answer was an immediate “yes,” and the day for the collaboration arrives on Tuesday, September 15. Jared and Steve will be concocting during the day at Grant Line, and then decamping for dinner at Bank Street Brewhouse afterwards. I can’t put an exact time on it, but if readers are out and about circa 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, feel free to drop in and dine in proximity. In any event, visit The Livery's web site and survey the range of brews crafted there. A field trip to Benton Harbor seems highly likely, doesn't it?

Also, remember that Tuesday is Wet Knobs release day: NABC Wet Knob Hop Harvest Ale: Early release date is Tuesday, September 15.

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