We sat down with Springdale Director Joe Connolly to discuss two crazy collaborations we just dropped, Away Mission (w/ Zero Gravity) and Stay Frosty (w/ Great Notion).
I’m old enough of a beer curmudgeon to remember when collaborations between my favorite breweries seemed rare, exciting, and new. Whatever you’d like to say about collaborations these days, rare is probably not the best way to describe them; after all, I’m here writing about two collaborations we’re releasing this week!
What might remain rare, however, is our stubborn commitment to try and learn something new from each collaboration we execute. That stubbornness has fostered an environment in which experimentation, innovation, and collaborative spirit can flourish even beyond the collaboration itself. And it occasionally results in wacky, delicious and unexpected beers like Away Mission and Stay Frosty, two fruited IPAs we’re excited to share this week.
AWAY MISSION is our collaboration with our old friends at Zero Gravity in Burlington, Vermont. Using spruce tips we harvested together in the Green Mountains, we built a recipe inspired by their deft use of fruit in the delicious Little Birdy IPA, with the added challenge of highlighting the spruce character. We infused some spruce in the whirlpool, fermented the beer on raspberry puree, and then introduced the rest of the spruce in the dry hop alongside Callista, Calyptra, and Simcoe hops.
The resulting beer is a cloudy pink, carrying the flavor of the raspberries and spruce tips while remaining surprisingly dry and refreshing. It’s honestly unlike anything I’ve ever tried, and I love it.
STAY FROSTY comes by way of Great Notion from Portland, Oregon. They’re newer friends of ours making remarkably delicious beers in their two breweries. We’ve admired their big stouts and milkshake IPAs, so when the opportunity to brew with them on our pilot system arrived we jumped on it. Why not, then, take that same idea of a fruited IPA that’s been fresh on our minds to its biggest, boldest conclusion by introducing pear, apple, peach, and lactose, and finishing on vanilla?
That’s exactly what we did.The result is a cloudy, milkshake IPA unlike anything we’ve ever released. Huge, rich stone fruit notes marry with candied melon and tropical fruit character from the liberal dry-hopping with Citra and Galaxy, and vanilla supports with a hint of sweetness. There’s a hint of restraint here that’s perhaps our point of view in this beer, a slight balancing act that increases the drinkability. I’ll be the first to say that I was dubious that I’d enjoy the result going into this collaboration — re: beer curmudgeon –but it’s honestly delicious.
There you have it. Two different approaches to introducing fruit to IPAs — our first two — that yielded delightful results. Beer is a wonderfully weird medium for expression, and we’re lucky to get to play around in it with our friends. Here’s hoping you get to enjoy them side-by-side with your friends before summer slinks away!