Old 121 Brewhouse x Banded Oak Brewing make an AI beer. Photo credit: Ryan Cox

Everything But the Kitchen Sink...

Collaboration Fest is an opportunity for brewers to get creative and let their imaginations run wild. In the past, this has created some well-known and loved beers like Oskar Blues’s award winning Death by Coconut, that was originally brewed with Shamrock Brewing for the first Collaboration Fest in 2014, and other crazy concoctions including ramen beers and even a beer brewed while rafting down the Platte river. This year is no different, with numerous beers made with some interesting and unique ingredients, including squid ink, sour patch kids, and even a beer made used AI. We’re not sure if it has to do with the recent law changes, but this year features three mushroom beers (no they legally can’t include the psychedelic kind). Read below to see what crazy ingredients you will find at Collaboration Fest this year.

Stories are told by the brewers.

Click on each collaboration to learn more

Beer: Calm Your TipsBlackberry Spruce Tip Amber Ale

Story: We have been good friends for a while and have been wanting to do a beer together. We are fairly close in location and wanted to do something fun!

Beer: Double Dragons Beat ‘Em Up AleBarrel-Aged Imperial Blonde

Story: The brewers from 6 and 40 Brewery and Barquentine Brewing Company love to hang out at each others’ taprooms. Barquentine Brewing Company makes world-class Belgian style beers, while the mechanics at 6 and 40 Brewery are avowed hop heads. Double Dragons is a team up like the Lee brothers of its namesakes vintage Arcade Game: aggressively hopped with Dragon and Lotus hops, flavored with Hibiscus and Rose Hips, fermented with wild saccharomyces, then transferred into red wine barrels and aged on Prickly Pear and Dragon Fruit. The result is a bright pink ale sure to deliver a knockout.

Beer: Parfet St BluesSour Patch Kids Sour Ale

Story: Lakewood Neighborhood Collaboration: Back for the first time since 2019, this neighborhood collaboration reflects the passion, friendships, and most definitely a little bit of the silliness representative of craft beer in Colorado’s fifth largest city.

Beer: Pub Pass Pistachio PilsnerPilsner

Story: Brad who is the Regional Director of Pub Pass is a fan of our Ponytail Pilsner. He wanted to amp it up and make a off-centric Pilsner that had a flavoring that beings with the letter P. So we decided on a Pistachio Pilsner.

Beer: Mocking Baered Ep. 8: A Bunch of Soda Jerks

Story: In reminiscing about the world of soda and all the things that make us happy about their existence we happened upon our best idea to date, soda flavored beers! What’s not to like?

Beer: Stems & Caps – American Light Lager with Oyster Mushrooms

Story: We decided to collaborate with Mojave as they like to use unique ingredients in their beers. We brewed an American Light Lager using a local mushroom farmer and used 8lbs oyster mushroom blend. Adding a “vegas flare”, the beer will be served with a flavored mushroom rim.

Beer: Roasted ChestNut Brown Ale – Nut Brown Ale

Story: This beer is a classic Nut Brown Ale, fermented using Wynkoop’s house Hefeweizen yeast and aged on Roasted Chestnut Chips.

Beer: This Beer Tastes Funny! – Coffee Blonde Ale

Story: This beer was brewed to taste different than it looks using laughter. Just kidding, using coffee from our neighbor Legends Coffee instead of laughter. Seriously. We didn’t laugh even once when making this beer.

Beer: DoCR Stout – Dandelion, Oat, & Chocolate Rye Stout

Story: Burly Brewing has been an ardent supporter of its Castle Rock neighbors, including the Dads of Castle Rock Community Outreach Charity (DoCR) which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for crisis response and people in need. One of DoCR’s founding board members, Paul Myhill, (aka “Colorado Beer Guy”) proposed a collaboration beer using the DoCR acrostic as the recipe formation guide: D for Dandelions; O for Oats; and CR for Chocolate Rye malt. The result is an intriguing Oatmeal Chocolate Rye Stout with Dandelions as an additional flavoring/bittering agent. Proceeds from sales helps DoCR in its mission to reach people in its community who are going through hardships and trials.

Beer: Super Kölsch – Fruited Kölsch

Story: Sam from Dry Dock and Tomas from Cheluna drank through a couple of flights and came up with the brilliant idea of a hop forward kolsch that’s heavily fruited with fruit that aligns with the profile of the hops used (Galaxy, H. Melon), resulting in a Watermelon, Blood Orange Kolsch.

Beer: Purple Toes – Mulberry Blonde

Story: This collaboration stemmed from Tom Horst’s childhood memories of playing under his families Mulberry Tree, turning his feet purple all summer long. Neither River North or Crystal Springs had enjoyed a beer with Mulberry so we created a light Blonde base to accentuate the Mulberry flavors.

Beer: Blue Sour Double IPA with Coconut and Pineapple

Story: Nicole Harwood, co-owner of Danico Brewing Company has been obsessed with Jade Mountain since trying their tea infused beers in November 2021, and so when she, along with co-owner Dave Lotierzo, opened Danico they knew they wanted to collab with Sean Guerrero and Jade Mountain. Combining the traditional American pub style of brewer Chris Kennedy with the highly experimental and ingredient driven Sean Guerrero resulted in the blending of a hazy Double IPA brewed by Chris at Danico with a blue sour with pineapple and coconut brewed at Jade Mountain by Sean. It is a true collaboration of two wildly different brewers merging two wildly different styles to create something unique.

Beer: Pumpernickel is My Safe Word – Imperial Rye Stout with Coffee & Caraway Seeds

Story: Much like a weighted blanket, this beer provides a sense of warmth, safety and security. This dark masterpiece is brewed with a blend of rye and barley malts to create a uniquely sweet, malty and spicy backbone. It is then finished with an addition of caraway seeds and Steep Brewing and Coffee Company coffee for a flavor reminiscent of biting into a slice of pumpernickel bread. So whether or not you grew up visiting Schnitzer’s Bakery or on your bubbe’s homemade loaf, you’ll be transported to a happy place with each sip and find safety in this pumpernickel brew.

Beer: Jam or Jelly? – Donut Brown Ale

Story: We teamed up with the Parker breweries and our local Donut House for a unique dessert style ale. Lots and lots of donuts!

Beer: Slam Dunk Mint Cookie Stout – Gluten Free Pastry Stout

Story: An all gluten-free brewery collaboration by Holidaily Brewing Company out of Golden, CO and Buck Wild Brewing out of Oakland, CA. Both breweries came together to create a gluten-free mint cookie stout (using gluten free mint sandwich cookies from the leading sandwich cookie manufacturer, whose name we’ve promised not to say). Each brewery is making a slightly different gluten-free version for their taprooms. Holidaily will bring theirs to the festival, featuring the nameless cookies, cocoa nibs, and vanilla!

Beer: Plum Blossom – Mochi Sour Ale brewed with Preserved Chinese Plums

Story: Weldwerks and Jade Mountain have a reputation of brewing beers with unique ingredients using unique processes, so this collab is definitely special. This Mochi Style Sour Ale is brewed with steamed glutinous rice and Chinese preserved plums that make this delicious sour ale that tingles all the senses. Dry, sweet, sour and salty.

Beer: Fungi Forager – Mushroom Saison

Story: Shawn, brewer at Steeplejack, was once our Assistant Brewer at Jagged Mountain! We wanted to brew a collab with him to celebrate his move to Oregon and his new brewing position. Brewed with 2-Row, Wheat, Munich, and Spelt to set the base and dry-shroomed with dried Lions Mane, dried Turkey Tail and a secret blend of wild Oregon mushrooms!

Beer: Fluffernutter – Pastry Stout

Story: This is the first pastry stout that has been brewed at Loveland Aleworks. Wiley Roots and Loveland Aleworks have been collaboratively working together since 2014, sharing information, buying supplies together and supporting each other. Kyle and Nick met at Wynkoop during the 2014 GABF over too many Irish Car Bombs.

Beer: Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Strawberry Club Band – Fruit Beer: Strawberry with Pepper

Story: Across the Universe of Frederick, CO, Mirror Image and Mountain Cowboy, decided to help carry the weight and brew all together now. We get by with a little help from our friends as we come together just the two of us. We can’t buy love but we can make beer that we love. Here comes the sun in this delightful ale filled with strawberry fields and pepper to help that blackbird sing.

Beer: The Bots Made Us Do It – Wellness Beer

Story: With advances in AI technology, we wanted to test the limits and see if AI knew how to craft a beer worthy of Collab Fest. Old 121 and Banded Oak worked together with Chat GPT to identify some of the newest trends in craft beer, which is how we landed on a Wellness Beer (beer that uses holistic qualities of ingredients in the final product). We then asked the AI to construct a recipe for a Wellness Beer and “The Bots Made Us Do It” is the final result of the recipe built by AI and brewed by Banded Oak and Old 121. We’re excited to share this beer as an exploration of what AI can bring to the brewing scene and also test how sophisticated the technology really is.

Beer: Squid Marks – Japanese Rice Lager with Black Squid Ink

Story: The goal is to create a visually stunning beer with a salty flavor profile that reminds drinkers of a cloudy day on the beach.

Beer: Jewish Space LaserSponTEAneous Sparkles

Story: The collaboration between Primitive and Novel Strand is yet another wonderful excuse for friends to hang out and create that sweet, sweet funk juice, blending a classic 3-year assemblage of Primitive’s Colorado Spontaneous beer with Funk Shwei, a new-age, one-of-a-kind “table fermentation” created by Novel Strand. Funk Shwei results from the combination of Iron Goddess (Taiwanese Black Tea grown at elevation in the Yunan Mountains) with Lychee and Brettanomyces. The union of Novel Strand’s tea-infused fruited table beer with Primitive’s mature spontaneous blend creates a delightful medley of low-alcohol funk, fruit, and fun. L’chaim!

Beer: Primitive with PurposeBarrel-Aged Sour Blend

Story: The collaboration between Primitive and Purpose is an extension of friendship. As a couple of small, family-owned and -operated beer cellars, blending is a central method of expression, aiming to create a finished beer that is unique to the constituent parts. We are excited to release this thoughtful amalgamation of Primitive’s traditional 3-year assemblage of Colorado Spontaneous beer with Purpose’s Smoeltrekker #047, served tranquil from cask and beer engine. Santé!

Beer: Purple Denim IPAWest Coast Style IPA w/ Butterfly Pea Flowers

Story: This IPA is a twist on Fair Winds’ flagship IPA, Howling Gale. We’re adding butterfly pea flower in the whirlpool and dry hop phase to give this IPA a purple hue.

Beer: Shitake BockShitake Mushroom and Nori Doppelbock

Story: Two fantastic Aurora breweries, expanding the umami essence that beers can bring. East meets West, Japanese Hops (Sorachi Ace), Japanese Shitake Mushrooms and Nori (Seaweed) all in a classic German Beer Style.

Beer: It’s Pronounced “Bayg-Ale”Everything Bagel Rye Kvass

Story: The everything bagel beer was inspired by several hours of brainstorming from brewers who like bad ideas. Once we realized it was actually a good idea, we got together again to find a way to make it work.

Beer: King Kong Ain’t Got Nothing on Me! – Banana Cinnamon Wafer Ale

Story: Wanted to make something unique that brings out the strengths in both of our sides. Plus you always got to go crazy for collaboration fest lol!

Beer: Sideways to Helles – Helles aged on pressed Mourvedre grape skins

Story: A reboot of a Collab Fest beer we brewed together in early 2020, we used Pevec pilsner malt from Troubadour and pressed Mourvedre grape skins from Snowy Peaks Winery to create this delicate elixir to help ease into the spring season.

Beer: Taste the BiscuitBarrel-Aged Barleywine

Story: We came together in 2021, because of our mutual love of barrel-aged barleywines. We came up with a brand new recipe for a big bold English-style barleywine, that we then rested in Colorado small batch bourbon barrels for 18 months.

Beer: Mexican-OLE! – Baltic Porter (w/ Cocoa from Oaxaca, Mexico and mole)

Story: One of our new team members, Patricia, is a Mexican brewer who motivated us to create a collaborative beer with a brewery that was not only from out the state, but international. Building bridges between Mexico and the United States with a beer that represents one of the most famous dishes in Mexico, Mole.

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