When all four NoDa area breweries flew out to Fort Collins, Colorado, to brew a collaborative brew with beer-making giant New Belgium Brewing, I could do little but read their texts and tweets, see pictures, and generally turn green with envy. When the New Belgium folks flew to Charlotte to brew a second collab effort with the same four local outfits, I wisely cleared my schedule. This week, we finally get to see the results of that second September brewing day: “Mine & Yours.”
“Yours & Mine Golden Ale” was the result of the initial brew day out in Colorado. The beer contained ingredients from both Colorado and North Carolina (sugar beets, lavender and malted sunflower seeds from the former; the latter’s state fruit, the scuppernong grape, also appeared). To celebrate the affair, a release party was hosted by NoDa Brewing on Sept. 12, and more kegs were distributed equally among the participating breweries.
Celebrations are nice, but brewing the follow-up “Mine & Yours” is a necessity. While its predecessor’s flavor was complementary to warmer summer weather, the sequel has a more autumnally-appropriate profile. Ingredients from the host brew state again take center stage, with honey, ginger, and sweet potatoes all from the Old North State joining New Belgium’s present of Palisade peaches.
NoDa Brewing facilitated that Friday’s double-batch brew day, kicking off work just after six. Most folks sauntered in at nine to prepare additional ingredients. Sweet potatoes had already met 1,340 pounds of grain in the maxed-out mash tun. Lauren Salazar, master blender for New Belgium, joined brothers Alexander from Free Range in preparing 16 pounds of pungently-fresh ginger root, destined for the post-boil whirlpool. A Belgian Trappist yeast would ferment the beer, with honey and peaches introduced post-fermentation. In total, 30 barrels of “Mine & Yours” will make its way into the tap rooms of Birdsong, Free Range, Heist, NoDa, and select area accounts.
All work and no play make brewers dull people too. The pedal-propelled Pub Trolley arrived just before lunch, ferrying folks to check out the neighborhood and pick up sandwiches while others remained behind to finish the day’s work. Sandwiches paired well with everyone’s first taste of “Yours & Mine” before it officially went on tap.
The rest of the afternoon was spent visiting the other area collaborating breweries, with the Pub Trolley next took us a mile down North Davidson Street to check out Birdsong Brewing. Writer’s note: You’ll make some “friends” if you tie up that stretch of road with pedal-powered propulsion. Birdsong’s owner Chris Goulet was happy to show us around their new space. After loading ourselves in more appropriate transport, it was then over to the new NoDa Brewing facility for a preview. After spending much of the day on their 15-barrel system, their new 60-barrel setup seemed giant. Free Range Brewing was gracious enough to sample their wares for us just before their own taproom opened to the public. Heist Brewery really rolled out the red carpet for their guests, with a five-course meal hitting our stomachs. Lastly, a few brave stragglers made the walk up to Salud Beer Shop for a quick nightcap.
As I said before in a previous piece on the preceding “Yours & Mine” release, it’s not every day that this many brewers put their heads together on a collaborative effort. For this brewing of the follow-up “Mine & Yours,” it’s not every day that dignitaries from Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing grace our Queen City.
“Mine & Yours” will be available at the tap rooms of all collaborating NoDa-area breweries (Birdsong, Free Range, Heist, and NoDa) beginning this week. Visit your local brewery of choice and have a taste of what Colorado and North Carolina can do when they work together.