Sponsored Guest Post from Artisanal Imports:
It all starts as a conversation between colleagues. “Wouldn’t it be fun if we brewed a beer together?” One thing leads to the next and before you know it, Chuck Silva and Mike Hinkley from Green Flash Brewing are on their way to Belgium to work with St. Feuillien brewer, Alexis Briol.
The brew started on a trip to California by the owner/manager of Brasserie St. Feuillien, Dominique Friart. Madame Friart met Silva and Hinkley on a promotional tour and hit it off. The idea was floated for a collaboration brew and some months later, Silva and Hinkley showed up at St. Feuillien, ready to brew.
The trio had an idea of what kind of beer it would be, having exchanged emails for weeks, but the specifics were agreed upon in the brewhouse, after lengthy discussion about quantities and nature of ingredients. Everyone involved wanted this beer to be a true collaboration, something that fans of either brewery would find interesting and delicious. When one brewer is known for hop-forward West Coast ales and the other is a traditional Belgian Abbey brewer, the intersection of those two philosophies should be interesting territory.
And indeed it is.
Bière de L’Amitié, or “Friendship Beer,” is a brassy golden with foam that is just a shade darker than snow white. Almost like vanilla ice cream with a hint, just a hint, of vanilla. The nose of this beer is remarkable. Freshly cut peaches and cream with a hint of mint. The flavor is spicy and a little hot, almost brash with a very firm malt character that only hints of the inclusion of rye and wheat malts. It quickly mellows to dryness and finishes with a pure, clean, high note of bitterness.
It is safe to say that this is a true collaboration. You can taste both of the breweries involved in the final beer and it’s remarkably polished and utterly delicious. The beer has only been made twice, with the third batch being brewed in Belgium this May.
Look for Bierè de L’Amitié wherever you find St. Feuillien beers sometime in June or July.
In April, Briol spent a week at Green Flash collaborating on a Black Saison. Artisanal Imports is not sure of the release date, but hopefully you will find the two St. Feuillien/Green Flash collaborations on the shelves at the same time.