Named America's most creative beer festival by Food & Wine, Collaboration Fest is back for the fifth year offering more beers brewed with craft malt than ever before.
More than 10 collaborations were made with Root Shoot Malting Company’s brewery partners crafted beers with Loveland-grown and malted barley for this year’s Collaboration Fest. These beers include Ursula Brewery's and Westbound & Down Brewing Company's Farmhouse IPA that was brewed using 100 percent Root Shoot malts and Citra, Moutere, and Loral Cryo hops; and two hazy IPAs by Lost Highway Brewing Company, with Berthoud Brewing and Peacemaker Brewing, respectively.
Plot your beer festival map. Taste these projects before they're gone...
Strange Craft + Freetail Brewing Co.
Strange Craft got the Collab Fest ball rolling early, the day after GABF to be exact. Jason Davis, the Director of Brewing Ops at Freetail Brewing stuck around after the festival for Denver’s first snow day of the season to help brew what will go down in history as Strange Craft’s first intentional Brett beer. Don’t ask about the unintentional ones. StrangeTail Seven is a malt-forward English IPA was finished in a Red Wine barrels inoculated with a different variety of Brettanomyces in each barrel.
Lone Tree Brewing Company + Cannonball Creek Brewing Co.
Craft malt liquor— it’s all the rage right now. And Collab Fest participants will get to taste one of the finest, crafted by the Billy Dee fans over at Lone Tree Brewing Company with their friends and fellow 40-lovers Cannonball Creek Brewing. This tall beauty was brewed with a traditional grain bill consisting of mostly pilsner malt paired with flaked corn, flaked rice and some dextrose sugar to lighten the body of the beer. A massive amount of Hallertau Blanc and Vic Secret hops went into this boil and asa dry hops, which made this malt liquor as "juicy' as your favorite hazy IPA. Weighing in at 7.6 percent ABV and 35 IBU, this beer pushes the envelope of what a malt liquor can be.
Station 26 + Sleeping Giant Brewing Company, Wibby Brewing
Station 26 Brewing Co. collaborated with Sleeping Giant to create Nordic Farmhouse Tripel Double IPA brewed with White Wheat, Pilsner, Vienna, and CaraBelge malt, Candi Sugar, and hopped with Cascade, Citra, and Mandarina Bavaria.
Station 26 has also collaborated with Longmont-based Wibby Brewing to craft a Biere de Mars with the perfect balance of malt, hops, and an Inland Island yeast induced spiciness. Station 26 founder, Justin Baccary, suggested the idea of using a French Ale strain from Inland Island and Ryan Wibby was excited about using a different yeast strain and brewing with some more interesting, aromatic hops making this a truly collaborative and unique drinking experience.
Bonfire Brewing + Zuni Street Brewing, Invasive Species Brewing
There’s a childhood story— well, a lot of them— behind this collaboration brew. “We all grew up together,” says Jim Rabun who brews for Bonfie Brewing, “and so it’s been great to get back together with TJ and Willy and come up with a beer inspired by all of us.” This beer is kind of like a light Porter, or a dark Belgian recipe, brewed with chocolate malt from Proximity Malting and fermented with Zuni's house Belgian yeast strain. “We decided on this beer because we are into brewing dark beers and Zuni is great at Belgian's so we decided to combine to two together,” adds Rabun.
Bonfire also worked with Florida based Invasive Species Brewing on a Hazy Piña Colada IPA, appropriately named Piña Collaba. This lighter bodied IPA displays the tropical flavors from Denali and Motueka hops, Pineapple, Coconut, Passionfruit, and an addition of Lactose for more mouthfeel and increased sweetness.
Ska Brewing + Ratio Beerworks
From the hearts of a bunch of punks who love great music and great beer comes this new twist on a White IPA. Magnetic North Norwegian White IPA hits with a classic wheat base, dry hopped with Mandarina Bavaria and Amarillo. The Nordic Farmhouse yeast strain gives notes of orange with a dry finish to this bright, citrusy, making Magnetic North a true Spring crusher.
Holly Gerard shared her Magnetic North brew day shots on her badass beertography blog and Instagram feed, Aperture of Ales. Check them out here.
Funkwerks + New Image Brewing Co.
Meet Arnie, a Kettle Sour with black tea and lemon peel. This beer will cleanse your palate after a long day of diverse flavors. Don’t wait until the end of the fest to get it, though!
Eddyline Brewery + High Alpine Brewing Co.
High Stoke Scotch Ale is a collaboration between Eddyline Brewery and High Alpine Brewing Company. A big malty nose gives way to a very slight herbal hop aroma. Rich caramel malt flavors dominate the palate, finishing with the slightest smoke impression. Mouth feel has a soft tactile feel on the tongue. Deliciously drinkable and gets even better as it warms in the glass.
Strange Craft + Fiction Beer Company
The Stranger Than Fiction is a strong Saison was brewed with oats and spelt before it fermented with a blend of Strange Craft's house Belgian yeast and Brettanomyces and barrel aged on plums and blackberries. See what they did there?
Strange Craft + Metropolitan State University
Strange Craft also brewed a third Collab Fest beer with Metropolitan State University creating Nitro Raspberry Porter, a traditional English Porter finished on Raspberries.