Like all things, it’s best to start at the beginning.
Like all things, the best things start over a beer.
So here’s the beginning of a beer. Or three.
Eddie Lofthouse, is someone I don’t see very often. We speak weekly on the phone. We’ve been friends since the inception of his now celebrated brewery, Harbour. In times passed, I used to run a beer retail e-commerce called Beermerchants.com; I was always on the look out for new, interesting and well brewed and packaged beers. Eddie’s beers were all that and some. We became friends.
Since then life has changed significantly for me, travelling so much for Simply Hops, prior to the opening of Breakwater. Eddie and I ended up in the far parts of the US. Why? Many of us working in the industry, spend a lot of time together traveling to see customers, attending conferences and at festivals. We’re forced together. As such you become genuinely good friends. Then you’re home after, talking about this person and that person. He says, “it comes that you want to introduce the other halves”, no. I couldn’t do that to mine. That said you often spend more time with these friends than you do your nearest and dearest.
Many brewers head to Yakima for the hop harvest. Yakima is all about hops, but for those of you who have never been fortunate to go, days are in the hop yards, evenings are in the Sports Centre. This is legendary establishment during harvest, all you really need to know is that if a bomb when off there that would be the end of this modern beer movement.
The 2016 Harvest, I was there with Eddie, we were chatting about the fact we rarely get to hang out other than at conferences these days, the previous time we shared a beer was at Craft Brewers Conference in Philadelphia. At that point Eddie invited me down for their brewer’s party. We then ran through the whole 2/6 project thing, and both decided to put our heads together and make sure it was bigger and more crazy than in previous years. We knew we could bring together an awesome group together to make something special. It started as we looked around the Sports Centre that night and a plan came together…
Of course, it goes without saying that the true and real reason for these projects is to create notable beers, challenge ourselves to work with those that we respect and build on the greater good will of the brewing industry. We all love beer, making it with the people that we enjoy spending time with is even better, add to the mix, genuine friendships and families, makes for a pretty perfect moment.
Eddie and I decided that “there were only two criteria for the breweries we decided to invite. First, was that they had to be awesome to hang out with, good people make good beer. Second, we had to respect them as brewers. We didn’t just want to invite people because it made the project appear cooler or ‘craftier’.” To put it simply, and as with their our previous projects, we wanted to get together with some of our talented friends, challenge ourselves and fellow brewers to create beers that will be really interesting and have a great time. It was flattering to be involved, as a new brewery as well as with such significant invitees who all accepted immediately.
What has resulted from that night was 3 from the US, 3 from Europe, and 3 from the UK.
We called Deschutes, they said yes. 21st Amendment and Three Weavers, said yes. Then Fergus from Adnams, said yes. Then Alex from Whiplash who we’d known from Yakima. Then Eddie reached out to the lovely 6’North and Bierbilotek. Bevog being a genius call, invited and came over! Us and Harbour making up the numbers.
Deschutes, 6’North and Whiplash made a Lemon Saison.
Three Weavers, Adnams and Bierbliotek made a Sour IPA
21st Amendment, Bevog and Breakwater made a dark Mexican lager, with a new experimental hop HBC472 supplied by Simply Hops, of course! The name, d0wnalong (yes, 0 instead of the O)
The beers are out in the wild. We’ll have a couple of kegs to pour at the taproom.
See more at: https://www.the39project.co.uk