Tis the season of neighborhood block parties, and as these community gatherings become more frequent, they start to run together in our minds. Organizers of the eighth annual Red Stag Block Party are making sure their event stands out, by teaming up with The Growler to present "In Cahoots! A Collaboration of Craft."
For the August 3 block party, eight Minnesota breweries have paired up -- August Schell's and Sociable Cider Werks, Bang Brewing and Summit Brewing, Fulton Brewing and Dangerous Man Brewing, and Bent Paddle Brewing and Fitger's Brewhouse -- to release one-of-a-kind collaborative beers.
"The four breweries that were approached were all asked to choose a brewery to collaborate with," says Dave Hoops of Fitger's Brewhouse. Fitger's worked with Bent Paddle to create the beer jokingly referred to as "Old Guys and Cool Kids," reflecting the two breweries' respective roles in the Duluth brewing scene.
The collaboration also allows smaller breweries, such as Bang and Dangerous Man, and brewpubs such as Fitger's, an opportunity to hit new markets. "I was really excited about brewing on a bigger system that was state-of-the-art. And, the most exciting part," Hoops says, is "for the first time in my career, having a beer that I had something to do with sold in Minneapolis."
The beers will premiere at the block party. Each brewery is planning its own distribution afterward. The Bent Paddle/Fitger's collaboration will have a sneak preview at this weekend's All Pints North Festival and will then debut at the Red Stag Block Party. Hoops says the beer will later be available at all JTA restaurants in Duluth, as well as at restaurants owned by Red Stag's parent company, such as Bryant-Lake Bowl, Barbette, and Pat's Tap.
The limited-edition beers may not be the only thing to arise from the collaborative event. Hoops says camaraderie was a big part of the process and he foreshadows "a few other ideas came out of it."
Fulton Brewing (Minneapolis) and Dangerous Man Brewing (Minneapolis) Beer: The 13th Task A dry-hopped golden ale brewed with Medusa, Mosaic, and Hercules hops.
Bang Brewing (St. Paul) and Summit Brewing (St. Paul) Beer: Mark A remake of Mark's original Sparkling Ale recipe from 1991 with modifications to fit Bang's all-organic process.
August Schell's (New Ulm) and Sociable Cider Werks (Minneapolis) Beer: Burnout Smoked Apple A blend of Honeycrisp and Haralson Apples gets a nice kick in the pants by a brewed bittering component that is intensely smoky and smooth.
Fitger's Brewhouse (Duluth) and Bent Paddle Brewing (Duluth) Beer: Red Smoke Rye A double smoked red ale.
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