I suspect that you’ve probably noticed by now that collaborations between breweries are a pretty big deal in the craft beer world these days! It’s a trend (if you can call it that) that I’ve happily embraced, whether it be with other breweries (our Channel Crossing series with Stillwater Ales and BW Rye series with 3 Stars Brewing Co.) or with craft beer bars (our Meridian series with Meridian Pint and Draft Punk with Punk’s Grill). I’ve been brewing professionally for almost 18 years but I wouldn’t hesitate to admit that there’s always something to learn about this wonderful craft. What better way than sharing knowledge with like minded professional brewers or enthusiasts over a few beers and the ambition to design a new craft brew together. I’m thrilled therefore that this week we’ll be flying the flag of collaboration once more. We’re putting together the recipe for Bw Rye#4 with our good friends Dave & Mike of 3 Stars, we’re brewing James Brown Ale with the fine folk of Meridian Pint & Punk’s Grill and on Wednesday we launch our latest collaboration, “Burial At Sea”, brewed with DC Brau.
With DC Brau we decided to brew a red mild, 7bbls at Oliver’s, 30bbls at DC Brau using the same recipe and yeast (Wye yeast 1056 American Ale yeast) for both. The only significant difference other than batch size is that ours was fermented in our open vessels and DC Brau’s in closed vessels. This makes a side by side tasting of both cask and draft from each brewery an interesting prospect indeed!
“Burial at Sea is a collaborative project between head brewer’s Jeff Hancock of DC Brau and Stephen Jones of Oliver Ales in Baltimore, MD. Mild ales are traditionally referred to as “session ales” known for their low alcohol content which is around 3.2 – 4.0%. Despite their low alcohol content, Milds are just as flavorful as beers with a higher ABV. In crafting this beer we used only the finest malt’s and hop’s from England. Burial at Sea starts with a great malty nose boasting aromas of milk chocolate and biscuity sweetness. The beer has a medium mouthfeel that drinks with a soft, mineral smoothness and just enough hops to counter the chewy malt character. Fermented with a clean American yeast that lets the oats, barley and hops dominate and take center stage.”
Our batch came in a little over gravity and is 4.3% abv. A beer such as this just screams to be cask conditioned so we of course obliged, filling several firkins and pins. The remainder of the batch was transferred to conditioning tank where it stayed for a week prior to carbonation.
The brew days are very different at DC Brau. Their shiny modern system has a considerably higher degree of automation than our aging English brewhouse. It was a wonderful experience working (well, watching at least) a modern system in action. It was also particularly impressive watching their canning line in action and of course pulling a can from the line, filled just minutes before to drink!)
I have to confess that DC Brau’s brewer Chris did most of the work … cheers Chris! We took the opportunity to nip across town to visit 3 Stars brewing Co. and check out their facility. The good news is that they will hopefully be up and brewing in about 5 weeks!
And of course we took the opportunity to visit a few accounts such as ChurchKey (where The Creeper was on cask) and Meridian Pint (where Scottish Ale was on cask).
Mike Sikes of Eyespeak Tattoo designed a killer logo which Jeremy Mooy put in tap handle form for us …
We will be joined by Brandon & Jeff of DC Brau and Mike of Eyespeak tattoo for the release of Burial At Sea this coming Wednesday at the Pratt Street Ale House at 6pm on cask and draft. We will offer both for the special price of $3/pint on the evening of release. We’ve also had some limited edition t-shirts made which we will offer at a special price of $12 on the day of release ($18 thereafter). Come join us for the release of this unique Anglo-American mild ale. On Thursday Derek and I will travel to DC for the launch of Burial At Sea at Meridian Pint with multiple cask and draft options available.