[1/09 Update: In case there was any doubt, Dogfish Head more or less confirmed on Twitter]
(Escondido, CA) – Yesterday, Stone Brewing announced that its first collaboration partners of the year will be two fellow Californians: Firestone Walker out of Paso Robles and 21st Amendment Brewery of San Francisco. This morning, Jon Abernathy of the BrewSite and the HopPress reported that Stone will be working with Dogfish Head and Victory Brewing next.
Stone Brewing has spearheaded a major trend in collaborations over the past year. Founder/CEO, Greg Koch, made it the center of his keynote at last year’s Craft Brewers Conference and the industry has responded in a big way. Coast to coast, brewers are working together from Massachusetts-based Boston Beer Co.‘s announced project with Weihenstephan to Washington-based Elysian Brewing‘s partnership with New Belgium Brewing.
Stone’s set of 2009 collaborations features a who’s who of the craft beer scene: AleSmith, BrewDog, Jolly Pumpkin, Mikkeller, Nogne O, Cambridge Brewing (and homebrewer, Ken Schmidt). For 2010, the brewery has already lined up some big names . . .
The first collaboration will be with Brewmaster, Matt Brynildson of Firestone Walker, and Co-Founder/Brewmaster, Shaun O’Sullivan of the 21st Amendment. O’Sullivan is also a frequent guest on The Brewing Network radio show and was recently featured in an episode of The Hopcast. Here is the information on a Meet the Brewers night happening at the Stone Bistro and Gardens on January 15 (5pm) courtesy of the brewery website:
“Join us at the Bistro’s outside bar to celebrate our collective achievement, and you may even get to try some of the unfermented wort. Have a pint with Matt, Shaun, and Mitch, and congratulate them on a job well done! This will be a casual ebb and flow affair and no reservations are needed. And remember that an essential part of collaboration is sharing, so feel free to bring a homebrew or two to share with everyone and we’ll even waive the corkage fees!”
Stone Brewing is also planning to work with Dogfish Head (presumably Sam Calagione) and Bill Covaleski of Victory Brewing in March, according to Abernathy. This is the first collaboration I am aware of featuring three of the top 50 craft breweries in the country. All three are ranked in the top 35 and it is an East Coast-meets-West Coast style collaboration. The brewers have all known each for a long time, too, so there should be some exciting synergy for this project.
No information about either brew or other 2010 collaboration partners has been released yet but stay tuned.