The Beer Dream Team

The Beer Dream Team

From domestic partnerships to international collaborations, it’s indisputable that there’s a special camaraderie among brewers today. More now than ever, trendsetters in the industry are working together to create unique and exciting brews fueled by creative beer-geek brainstorming and a love for bringing new flavors to consumers. These special offerings are typically limited edition bottlings, with small runs and production numbers resulting in a consumer frenzy to grab whatever is released. The bigger the names and brewery reputations, the higher the expectations and demand.

Enter Jim Koch of Samuel Adams and Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head, two of the beer world’s most notable personalities—the former a man many consider to be the godfather of the modern American craft beer movement , and the other, a rock star visionary with whom everyone wants to have a pint. Koch’s and Calaglione’s groundbreaking individual beers have inspired many brewers to think outside the box; now the two have teamed up on an equally innovative product called Savor Flowers.

The raw floral materials. Clockwise from top left: dried lavender, hibiscus, jasmine and rose flowers. Food-friendly and food-focused, the beer is brewed using rose water (instead of regular water, which is the main ingredient in beer) with the addition of a tincture (an alcoholic extract) of hibiscus, lavender and jasmine flowers that was aged in Samuel Adams’ Barrel One. (Adams says this is the barrel that started the craft brewing practice of aging beer in used whiskey barrels back in 1993/1994—this is when Sam Adams made Triple Bock). The influence of both breweries is evident, but unlike other collaborations in the industry, nothing screams one brewery or another. The result is a wildly new creation for both parties involved.

Although Dogfish Head has worked with many other notable breweries in the past, both domestic and international, this is Samuel Adams’s first domestic partnership (their only other one being with the German brewery Weihenstephan on their Infinium beer released winter 2010).

Savor Flowers came to fruition thanks to Savor: An American Craft Beer and Food Experience, the Brewers Association’s annual event. Held in Washington, D.C. (this year June 3-4), Savor promotes the pairing of great beer and food through a grand tasting as well as several specialty salons that feature insight from renowned brewers or unique tastings of limited edition offerings. For craft beer lovers the educational value of Savor is unmatched, since only founders or brewers (or an equally knowledgeable person on brewery staff) are permitted to pour. Koch and Calaglione will be on hand this year to pour Savor Flowers, and everyone will receive a bottle of the special release to take home.

Inside the Process

Through a series of old-fashioned handwritten letters, Koch and Calaglione discussed their ideas for the brew for quite some time before diving in to the brewing process. Click below to read their exchanges:

Letter One From Jim
Letter Two From Sam
Letter Three From Jim
Letter Four From Sam

To watch the duo create the food-focused beer Savor Flowers, click here.

Used on Video landing page.

Published on March 24, 2011