The best part of PCBW for us is that we get to mix it up in the brewery with some new people... exchange a bit of brewing knowledge, share a bit of beer, split a few pizzas, and come up with something totally new.
This year for PCBW, we decided to do 2 Collaboration Beers!
50 Shades of GRAIN:
While this beer was a collaboration with CoStar Brewing, Spoonwood, and East End, the naming credit for this one all goes to Steve from Spoonwood. Usually at EEBC, we go around and around a dozen times, trying to land a name for a beer that's going on tap in 3 days... so when Steve sent this name out on an email right at the beginning, mostly as a joke, we immediately lashed to the bedposts and claimed it as our own.
In collaborating on this brew, we decided to take an approach more traditional to the Roggenbier style, a style you don’t see all that often. We took a fistful of malts from our collective malt stores, holding to the namesake for this beer. We pushed the limits for ABV and hopping rates for the style, but we landed in the realm of traditional using a german weizen yeast. This brew landed at roughly 6.2%, contains around 45% rye malts. For a twist, we spiced it with a just noticeable amount of fresh Juniper berries.
You'll find 50 Shades of Grain on tap around town, and of course at BOTH East End locations, all during Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week...and beyond.
But if you'd like to come hang out with the crew that made this beer, we're doing a special tapping of it at Spoonwood on 4/22. You've been looking for an excuse to go check them out, right?
EAST CaliENDe Hop Slice:
Caliente approached us about doing a collaboration for PCBW, and Matt Moninger was the messenger. We've know Matt for years from his time at Church Brew Works, and now that he's at Caliente, he makes an excellent beer ambassador to broker these kinds of things... or at least he knows why it takes so long for us to answer an email.
So, the Caliente crew came out to the Brewery, mixed it up with the EEBC crew, and we all decided to brew a great big double IPA. The base of the beer would be all pils malt and we'd add a bit of cane sugar to more thoroughly dry it out, while bumping up the abv a bit in the process. All of this to get the keep the malt character very mild, and out of the way, so the hops can shine through.We landed at a 9% abv with a pitch of our house ale yeast. Hop we added were "first wort" Simcoe, a MASSIVE whirlpool addition of a newer hop we've been playing with here lately called Lemon Drop, and then, a touch of dry hopping with more Simcoe and some Amarillo in the fermenter, to give a nice boost in hoppy aromatics.
We're REALLY happy with this beer, and hope that you'll enjoy it. And if you like hoppy, light bodied beer (what some would call West Coast IPAs), I'm pretty sure you will!