We are gonna be having our first event celebrating our 20 beers for 20 years brewery collaborations, next Friday, March 23rd. The event will be featuring collabs with Rare Form, Chatham, and Artisanal Brew Works out of Saratoga Springs. This is the first of many event we will be holding throughout the year. Each event will feature a different region. This first event features Capital District breweries, and we already have a few beers in the works with Brown’s and Common Roots that will be resting for the next few months doing their thing. Plan’s for a Western NY, Hudson Valley, NYC are already in the works with plans for a couple brews outside of New York are planned for later this Fall. If you aren’t excited already, here is some more info about the three trips we made out to these breweries and the beers we helped brew.

On a cold morning we pulled up on Main Street in Chatham, New York. Matt Perry is Chatham’s head brewer, who along with our local sales rep Ben greeted us into the brewery. We got right to business as Matt helped us mash-in on their smaller 3 ½ barrel brewhouse, and helped us in selecting a nice blend of hops for our “Ruckfinity” blend of their Hopfinity IPA series. It was great to watch Pat and Elijah mash in with Dave. The design of this brewing system simple and very economic in its layout, taking up very little real estate in the old brewing space. Its great that they were able to save this original space for small batch brewing and its visible from the taproom too! We also met Tom Crowell, a founding partner at Chatham, who started the brewery 10 years ago with Jake Cunningham. Tom entered craft brewing in the late 1980’s as a homebrewer, and his experience along with Matt’s own passion for brewing have helped grow this brewery while staying relevant. Chatham’s own Grazin’ Food Truck served us up a wonderful lunch of hummus & pita, wings, burgers and fries, in the taproom. Our brew day preceded a renovation to their taproom which has expanded, go check it out!

 The Gang at Chatham!

The Gang at Chatham!

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I was sadly unable to make it to our brew day with Rare Form, but Dave and their owner Kevin Mullen decided to brew a beer that has special meaning for them going back to the first day Dave and Kevin met. Valavond, the Golden Belgian Strong Ale brewed for our collab, was the beer Kevin was brewing on that first day, and the rest as they say is history. It’s great to revisit a moment like that from the past with both Rare Form and the Ruck poised for great things in the future.

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Artisanal Brew Works is a newer kid on the block. The first time I met them was at the Invitational at the Takk House during Troy Craft Beer week last September. They were pouring their beer next to me and had brought some tasty beer and rather large Kegerator they were pouring their beers from. Their facility up in Saratoga Springs is paired alongside a distillery. The taproom has a great atmosphere with many distinctive details that make it inviting and open, lots of wood with a bit of an industrial feel. The brewery is all business, with a 10 barrel brewhouse, a laboratory, the beginnings of a barrel program and a wonderful selection of brewers hops. Colin Quinn, one of the owners/brewers, feels strongly about fresh flavorful hops. It was exciting to see him geek out when discussing the ones to be used in our collaboration. It was pleasantly surprised to hear about the many hops now growing in New York State which they use in their beers. Be ready to enjoy SPA Session Pale Ale (SMaSH IPA) a wonderfully flavorful Pale Ale at this Friday’s regional collaboration event.

Well, that is all for now, hope to see you all make it out for Friday, it should be a fantastic time with some really delicious locally brewed beer. What a great way to celebrate the Spring. Soon enough the snow will melt, the patio will be open and it will be Kolsch season. Until then, Cheers!