Brewers Salute Their Brewing Roots
What inspired you to brew this beer?
Jesse from Call To Arms: Taylor and I got to know one-another when Taylor was at Great Divide and I was working at Avery, and we've been in talks to brew with Spangalang since before either of our breweries were open. In fact I think the first collaboration conversation between Taylor and I happened when we were both in the thick of opening our respective breweries - when I was volunteering at the 2014 Denver Festivus and Taylor was repping for the Real Dill at the same event. It only too about two years for our collab to materialize, but we couldn't be more excited to finally work together in the same brewhouse.
Also, our Head Assistant Brewer, Nate Roberts, used to work in the Spangalang taproom prior to joining CTA on the production side of things, so there's been constant collab chatter for months now!
As for the beer itself, I think this was just a hair-brained idea that likely sprang from the depths of some level of inebriation - as in: "Hey. Samurai is awesome. And so is White Rascal. Man, can you imagine those two all mushed together?! Oh that'd be so cool. Call it White Samurai!" And there you have it! And it's only fitting that our first collab would pay homage to Great Divide and Avery after all of our years working for - and honing our chops at - those two wonderful companies.
Taylor from Spangalang: There was a period of time in my life when if I wasn't drinking Great Divide beer, I was drinking Avery beer, and my Avery beer of choice was White Rascal. That beer is both incredibly drinkable and very flavorful. I also remember when Samurai was discontinued at Great Divide for a period of time, Jesse emailed me to see if i'd put aside a keg of it for him, as it was apparently one of his favorite beers. I believe Jesse got the last available keg GD had at the time. So when it came to deciding what to brew with CTA, it was a no brainer. Plus, it's not hard to see how rice could work really well with the flavors and aromas typically found in a Wit beer.
Can you explain what you’re hoping the beer will taste like?
Jesse: Really everything you'd expect from the two beers that inspired the brew in the first place. Samurai has these beautiful (in my opinion) blueberry and strawberry notes, and White Rascal was obviously a showcase in the spiciness of coriander and rounded layers of soft orange peel. And both of those beers are about a 10 out of 10 on the crushability scale. Put those together with the addition of some Asian-inspired fruits and you've got yourself a approachable-yet-layered Saturday sipper with a ton of fruit notes and a smooth, velvety mouthfeel.
Taylor: White Rascal has wonderfully complex, yet subdued, Belgian phenols and esters. This is all complimented by pleasant spicy-ness and effervescence. The beer is highly drinkable. Samurai has fruity malt notes combined with a crisp hop character. So I think the final beer will have pleasant spice and citrus aromas, a fruit forward flavor, with a crisp, refreshing finish.
How did you choose who to brew with?
Jesse: Kind of answered this in question 1. Beyond that, we have a ton of respect for the fine fellas at Spangalang and we both share many of the same opinions and vantage points on the craft beer industry as a whole.
Taylor: I think I just always assumed we would collaborate with CTA someday due to our shared backgrounds in the industry and our mutual respect for high quality, flavorful beer. Not to mention, Jesse and the rest of the guys at Call To Arms are some the coolest people in the industry and the opportunity to hang out with them and learn from them is one we would never pass up.
What do you like most about collaboration beers?
Jesse: We love collabs for the same reason any level-headed brewers enjoy collabs: you get to share ideas with your colleagues while drinking beer all day. It's honestly that simple. As much as people might think that's the normal day-to-day life of any given brewer, we can assure you that's definitely very far from the truth. And in this case we get to pour our collaboration at the coolest derned beer fest this side of Munich.
Taylor: Mostly, collaborations are just a ton of fun. You get to catch up with old friends and make new ones. There's usually a good amount of beer drinking that takes place, which I know myself and my partners, Austin and Darren are huge fans of. Also, it's almost inevitable that you'll learn a bunch when you brew with talented brewers like John, Jesse, Chris and Nathan.
What is the name of your collaboration beer?