The Brew Site

The Session #39: Collaborations

The first Friday of the month means that among beer bloggers it’s time for The Session—a collaborative blogging effort where each month’s “host” suggests a topic and everyone writes about that. The host then compiles a summary and links to everyone’s respective writings.

Appropriately enough, this month’s collaborative blogging efforts is on the topic of Collaborations, and is being hosted by my fellow Hop Press writer and editor Mario Rubio:

The Hop Press is a collaboration of writers from around the world working on a common site. As host of The Session for May, I thought it was only appropriate for the Hop Press to be a place for a gathering of posts about collaborations.

Feel free to have fun with the topic. Drink a collaborative beer. Who’s brewed some of your favorite collaborations? Who have been some of your favorite collaborators? Who would you like to see in a future collaboration?

Confession: I don’t have a good collaboration story. I’ve reviewed some collaborative beers over time, notably:

And this week I blogged about the impending (and first) collaboration between Deschutes Brewery and Hair of the Dog, news which has me all a-twitter.

But a specific story or review? No—or rather, nothing that probably won’t already be covered by other Session posts today.

Rather, how about thinking of collaborations in more “out of the box” ways? For instance, last weekend saw the “Cheers to Belgian Beers” festival in Portland, a unique event which has an interesting spin on brewery collaboration:

Portland’s Cheers to Belgian Beers started three years ago to help introduce Oregonians to the breadth of style and flavors of beers brewed in Belgium. Portland’s Cheers to Belgian Beers is much like your standard beer festival, but all the beers are brewed by Oregon breweries in a Belgian inspired manner… One yeast strain.

During the past two years, almost all brewers have used the same Wyeast yeast strain, to emphasize the educational opportunities for the consumer.

The People’s Choice Award Winner gets a number of benefits:

  • Hosting the next years Portland’s Cheers to Belgian Beers.
  • Picking next year’s yeast strain.
  • Picking the benefiting charity for next years event.

Each participating brewery gets to come together and showcase their own particular take on a beer made with the same strain of yeast, with the proceeds from the resulting event going to charity—that’s the kind of “different” collaboration I’d like to see explored more often.

Of course, if one of my local Bend breweries called me up and wanted to do a “blogger” collaboration brew—you know I’d be all over that.