Beer Diplomacy Across the Pond
For 70 years, Denver, Colorado and Brest, France have been sister cities... and now in the fifth year of Collaboration Fest, two breweries from each are collaborating on a beer project that crosses international waters! We got to hear from both Aimee Soete, the Director of Brewing Opps at Renegade Brewery & Benoit Corre, the Head Brewer at Brasserie Du Baril in Brest, France, to see just how this collaboration started - and where it's going!
How did you decide on what to brew?
Aimee: We wanted to do something that drew inspiration from both of our countries, so we decided on a French saison with hops from the Pacific Northwest. Renegade is aging a portion of our version in French oak Chardonnay barrels from Sonoma, and Ben’s aging a portion of his in red wine barrels with Brett.
Benoit: It was a discussion with Renegade Brewing Co and me at the Brewery. We wanted to mix American and French style. For the French style we have chosen the French saison style mixed with American hops.
Why did you decide to work together?
Aimee: Sacha Heppell – a great friend of Renegade – had the initial inspiration. His mother is on Denver’s Sister Cities Committee, and they reached out to Benoit - the head brewer at Brasserie du Baril, the premier brewery in Brest, France. This year is the 70th anniversary of the sister-cityhood of Denver and Brest, and this beer is a celebration of that relationship!
Benoit: We are associated to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the exchange of Denver and Brest (France) because the Denver Sister Cities International team put us in touch. We had the chance to meet regularly during our last visit to Denver...it made sense, their beers are great! Like many in Colorado.
What’s your favorite thing about this collaboration?
Aimee: The opportunity to get to know Ben, throw back a few beers, and learn a little bit about how he does things over at his place.
Benoit: The creation of the recipe in Denver. And drinking some beer’s with the team. Amazing brewery.
What do you plan to name this beer?
Aimee: Ben doesn’t want me to tell you.
Benoit: Are you from the police? It’s a secret at this moment.
Can you describe the flavor you strive to achieve with this beer?
Aimee: Dry with big, late-addition hops. Floral and spicy.
Benoit: We wanted to have a dry beer, with an late hopping of American hops. It’s Floral and Dry. We have 2 Version of this beer: the first is fermented in Stainless tanks as usual. For the second, the primary fermentation is in stainless tanks, and the second is aged for few month in red natural wine, for an more funky taste with Brettanomyces!
What kind of music, if any, did you listen to while blending this beer?
Aimee: Wolfgang Amadeus // Phoenix