Ever wondered what it would be like to mix a Belgian Trappist inspired ale with a “I’ll wait in line for that” one-off wonder? This year at Collab Fest several breweries are doing just that, mixing beloved Belgian styles with some truly unique ingredients that will definitely pique your palate, and probably peak your eyebrow as well. From a Saison blended with an IPA to a Mushroom Saison (Fungi Forager!), you will need to add these inspiring collabs to your festival must-try list.
And for those who are traditionalist and love your Belgian beers, your taste buds can explore a Belgian Pilsner, a Belgian Strong Ale, and even a Belgian Blonde Ale.
Stories are told by the brewers.
Beer: Double Dragons Beat ‘Em Up Ale – Barrel-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: Monk By Day – Belgian Pilsner
Story: Both breweries have a preference to make ‘beer flavored beer’ and wanted to experiment with Inland Islands Belgian lager strain. We used 100% Leopold floor malted pilsner malt and a variety of traditional noble hops. Also, OCC won our 1st annual Krispy King Lager competition and wanted to make a beer with them.
Beer: Belgian Mohawk – Soured Belgian Wit with Meyer Lemon
Story: Last year, Bruz Beers signed a distribution agreement for southwest Colorado with Ska’s Distribution. Since then we’ve been wanting to make beer with them and found this to be a perfect time to play in the brewhouse. We wanted to incorporate something Bruz is good at, Belgian beer, and something Ska is good at, kettle-soured fruit beer, so we came up with this beautiful idea, soon to be beautiful beer.
Beer: Strong Like RiNo – Belgian Strong Ale
Story: Drink RiNo is the cabal of RiNo Art District adult beverage producers. It includes breweries, winemakers, distilleries and cideries. Before COVID the group was quite active, sponsoring large-scale events such as Velorama as well as neighborhood scavenger hunts and bar crawls. Now that COVID is in the rearview mirror (fingers-crossed) we’re back and ready to party.
Beer: A Wild Hello – IPA and Saison Blend
Story: We decided to take a beer that Wild Provisions has produced and mindfully brew a West Coast IPA to blend with their Saison.
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: Three Monks Walk Into an Apiary – Belgian Tripel with Local Wildflower Honey
Story: We have been talking with Payette for awhile about a collab to introduce them to CO and us to Boise. Collab Fest seemed like a great excuse to get them to Littleton. We both were instantly excited to do a big traditional Belgian Tripel with the added character of local CO honey. Old school style with a little new school twist
Beer: Half Extent / Full Extent (2 beers) – Belgian Double / Belgian Quad with maple syrup
Story: OMF has been wanting to collaborate with Elevation for the last 10 years but things finally got rolling this past september while hanging out after the Salida 76 bike race. We decided on the styles because of admiration and respect of brewing traditional Belgian beer which we both think we don’t see enough of right now.
Beer: Matcha Wit – Belgian Wit
Story: I have known the folks from Launchpad for numerous years and knowing the quality of beer they produce, I really wanted to have that chance to brew together. This Belgian style beer is unique as we are adding lemon peel in the boil and green tea in fermentation.
Beer: Vicious Greality – Belgian Blonde Ale
Story: Mountains meets plains in our collaboration to make a Belgian Blonde Ale flavored with pear juice and a healthy dose of Belgian Candi sugar. This beer is vicious with flavor but grounded in reality. Come get yourself a dose of Vicious Greality.
Beer: Five Points Farmhouse – Saison
Story: Black Shirt and Spangalang chose to collaborate because they are both unique small scale, long standing breweries residing in the five points neighborhood. Now both under new ownership, they are ready to team up and brew some delicious craft beer.