Take the best of the Triangle, Fullsteam and Bull City beers and mash them together.
What do you get? The first-ever collaboration ale from Durhams three craft breweries.
The trio came together on the unique project for N.C. Beer Month in April, said Seth Gross, owner of Bull City Burger and Brewery.
The concept was simple: Take the signature grain, a specialty malt and the dominant hop from each brewery, at equal proportions, and make a beer. The end result is a hop-forward, copper-colored beer with roughly 6 percent alcohol.
Its not any particular style, said Gross, who is brewing the beer at his restaurant. Its representative of what the three brewers embody.
The project also represents a movement gaining steam in the craft beer industry: the collaboration ale. The whole idea of multiple breweries putting their creative minds together to produce a single, often nouveau beer under a joint label sets the craft industry apart. Its the tangible result of the camaraderie you hear so much about in the industry.
Gross said the Durham collaboration which will debut April 3 at each brewerys tasting room is still a work in progress. Once the initial fermentation is completed, the brewers may add another twist a dry hop or possibly a specialty ingredient, such as rosemary from the bush on the nearby street corner, Gross said.
In the meantime, the breweries are soliciting a name for the beer. The brewers will considered top five liked names submitted by March 31 on Bull Citys Facebook page.
N.C. drives craft beer growth
North Carolinas craft beer explosion tops a recent report about the industrys national growth.
Five states accounted for 30 percent of the markets growth in 2011, according to a recent analysis by Demeter Group Investment Bank in San Francisco. Of those five states, North Carolina saw the largest percentage increase in breweries at 23 percent.
Other states on the list: Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York and Texas. In 2011, Michigan added the most breweries (17) while North Carolina added 11, according to Brewers Association data. Expect North Carolinas number to rank near the top in 2012, too, with many new breweries now operating in the state.
Tour returns to Durham
New Belgiums Tour de Fat bicycle-beer-polooza is returning to Durham, the Colorado craft brewer recently announced. The June 15 event in Diamond View Park in Durham is the third in the 12-city tour.
The festival starts with a bike parade though from the zaniness, it seems like it starts with a good bit of revelry as some cyclists don costumes. The free event will feature musical acts and, of course, New Belgium beer. Look for more details closer to the event.
What Im drinking
The concept is an oxymoron: a blonde stout. But count on Bull City brewery to keep it interesting. Gross admits one of his latest offerings, Wa Wa Yonda Blonda, started as a joke and doesnt fit any stylistic guidelines.
Gross essentially brewed a stout without any of the roasted barley that gives the beer its dark color. He explained that stouts werent as dark as they are now. Centuries ago, Germans made what was called a pale stout.
Left unfiltered, the beer looks like a Belgian tripel in color, but the recipe is closer to an India pale ale, minus the load of bittering hops. And theres a tartness on the finish.
Gross summed it up well: I think the result is super. But I cant say for sure because Ive never had another one.