Craft collaboration

By Li Yingxue | China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-31 07:37

Craft collaboration

A craft beer produced by Jing A uses chili from Guizhou province. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Jing A has been paired with Holy Mountain brewery from Seattle, Washington, which focuses on farmhouse sales. Acker decided to follow their style and bring some of their wild yeast to the collaboration, adding kumquats and Sichuan pepper corns to make their cultural revolution (6 percent ABV) beer.

Brewing for the event began in July, while brainstorming sessions started well before that.

Over the summer, each pair of brewers worked on their collaborative recipes, establishing new relations with each other.

Ben Love, cofounder of Gigantic Brewing from Portland, Oregon, met Acker at the Mikkeller Beer Celebration Copenhagen three years ago, and they've seen each other a few times at different beer festivals or when Acker returns home, since then.

When Acker suggested the idea of the event last winter, Love didn't hesitate to sign up for it.

"Ideas that come from collaborations can be incredible, and I think with brewers coming from different parts of the world, the ideas are even more exciting," Love says.

Gigantic was paired with Moonzen Brewery from Hong Kong, and Love has been discussing ideas and recipes with his partners by email since May.

"Our collaboration is named Pacific Berry Monster Lambic (5.2 percent ABV), because it adds boysenberry from Oregon and is brewed in Hong Kong, and the monster suggests the ancient gods on the label of Moonzen's bear bottles," Love says.

"It's cool to work with somebody from China, as they incorporate their local palate," the 39-year-old says.

Gigantic and Moonzen's collaboration has already been shipped to Beijing for the festival, and Love will meet his brewing partners to reveal the fruits of his labor.

Chang Jui Chao, owner of Bubble Lab in Wuhan, Hubei province, visited his partner's brewery, Cloudburst Brewing in Seattle, Washington in July, where they discussed each other's brewing styles. They decided to brew a triple IPA called Bubbles in the Beard (10 percent ABV).

"IPA is not usually so strong, but we wanted to brew a strong triple IPA to enjoy in winter. But the process of brewing such a beer can easily go wrong," the 30-year-old says.

"I've never brewed a triple IPA before, but with our partner's technical help we made it work," Chao says. "That's the beauty of collaboration, where brewers can learn and grow with each other."

Beijing Homebrewing Society, a non-profit organization with more than 800 members, is partnering the project. Wang Bo, chief of the education department of society is looking forward to joining the event.

"I've checked on RateBeer, a website that rates craft beers, and some of the beers from US breweries have achieved top scores," Wang says. "And, of course, I'm looking forward to the collaborations."

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