There is always something a little extra special about a collaboration beer. The notion of two great breweries coming together to combine their powers for the goodness of all just warms the heart. In these extra warm days, when that collaboration beer fits perfectly into summer, it can be all the better.
La Cumbre and Ska Brewing from Durango have teamed up to create Cinco Cincuenta, a rye Belgian pale ale. Brewmasters Jeff Erway and Thomas Larsen created the beer together at La Cumbre, where it goes on tap today (Friday).
“They came and brewed it here,” said La Cumbre marketing guru Samantha Ward. “We’re just trying to help get (more) into this market. They distribute for us up in Durango.”
We were able to fill a pint glass (thanks for the help on that, Majin!) to check out what the beer had to offer. It is a cloudy, orange-colored beer. The first thing that struck us both was the powerful, enticing aroma.
“I got lots of coriander, some spicy orange, lemon, and rye,” Samantha said.
Despite all of those witbier staples, minus the rye, appearing in the aroma, the beer itself does not have any added orange peel, lemon zest, or even coriander. Samantha said it was made with rye, two German hops (Mandaria Bavaria and Hallertau Blanc), and Nelson Sauvin hops.
The flavor is balanced across the board from the malts, hops, rye, and Belgian yeast. Though the aroma could almost be described as overpowering, the beer itself is strong and yet mild at the same time. It does not overwhelm the palate at all.
“It’s really refreshing from the citrus (flavors),” Samantha said. “It has a dry finish, so it’s not heavy at all. It’s very, well, it might clear up a little bit, but it’s cloudy now.”
Though what looked like a possible label appeared on La Cumbre’s Instagram page, Samantha said it will only be available on tap. The good news is that La Cumbre plans to distribute it to a number of their keg accounts, so if the brewery gets too crowded for you (it happens on weekends at LC), you will have other options. A full list will be forthcoming.
Kegs of the beer will also be headed up to Ska, should anyone be seeking to escape the heat this weekend and head for the Colorado mountains.
Let us toast the spirit of collaboration with a pint of Cinco Cincuenta this weekend, and hope for more of these kinds of beer unions in the future!