As we mentioned in a recent blog post, our 5th anniversary brew is nearly ready to release, and this year’s theme has taken a large departure from in the past. Many of the four beers up until now tried to either explore how to put more hops in a beer or if new styles of beer were suited for large hop loads. This year, however, the theme shifted to one with more meaning, namely togetherness, while at the same time trying to achieve visual deception.
The coffee, vanilla, and cacao nibs were sourced from friends we have worked with previously, and the contribution of the two coffee roasters (Kamogawa Cafe, Kurasu Coffee) were introduced in our last post. Here we would like to introduce our other two contributors, Minimal Chocolate and Patisserie.S.
We first worked with Minimal, a bean-to-bar chocolatier, in our Shades of Cacao collaboration. We went into the project thinking that chocolate was chocolate, and there wouldn’t be much to selecting cacao nibs to use. We couldn’t have been more wrong! Yamashita-san went to great lengths to help us understand the subtle differences that are created not just by growing regions, but also how the cacao is processed and roasted. By the end of our tasting with him, we had sampled cacao nibs from all over the globe with flavours ranging from nutty to fruity to sour and savoury. To express this variety in the beer, we decided on a Columbian variety that gave a hint of spices, herbs, and nuts in addition to the typical chocolate character most drinkers expect. Needless to say, it was one of our most challenging and educational collaborations to date.
Patisserie S is a unique compatriot in that while we have worked closely with them over the years, we haven’t actually collaborated on a beer. The closest we came was when they approached us to use our beer in two cakes they were featuring for a luxury department store event. As we worked with them to decide what two beers to feature, we were impressed with the amazing depth of Kaoru-san’s flavour related knowledge and Chef Nakamoto’s ability to put her thoughts into edible creations. Similar to what we learned from Minimal, their cakes showed us the amazing depth of flavour and breadth of expression that exists in their craft, and we have been good friends (and big fans!) ever since.
More info to come about how the contributions from these four unique compatriots have come together in the final product!