RMFR was in the house for our second jaunt at Collaboration Fest in Denver, on Saturday, March 16, but this time we got in on the action, participating in a collaboration brew alongside other Colorado beer media and Cannonball Creek Brewing Company in Golden, Colorado. We made the trip up to assist in the creation of a pre-prohibition pilsner, a underrepresented brewski that we think captures the essence of what Collab Fest is all about, taking stylistic elements of classic beers and incorporating local flavors with some group love finesse.
On our brew day we chat up the dudes of Cannonball Creek, Jonathan Lee, head brewer, and Brian Hutchinson, co-owner, to discover why this multi-cultural expression of a refreshing pils translates into one hell of a red white and blue repping beer.
“It’s an American style which pilsners are traditionally German, and an offshoot Czech style, but a big factor in these American styles that goes from the pre-prohibition days all the way up to Coors Banquet today is the use of adjuncts,” says Lee.
Ready for this? It’s time to beer geek out for a second.
“There’s two definitions of adjuncts,” continues Lee. “There’s adjuncts like coconut, strawberries, blueberries, hazelnut and then there’s adjuncts on the mash science side of things which means corn and rice. Beers like Coors Banquet, they’re not 100-percent barley. They use corn and rice, they’re cheap, they add high sugar.”
“Light in the body and it increases the alcohol while costing less money,” adds Hutchinson.
“In following with that, this beer uses flaked corn and also in tradition with pre-prohibition America it doesn’t use a German pilsner malt, it uses a light American two row which is the base malt for every American beer,” says Lee, in conclusion.
Another attractive quality of the pils, which we collectively choose to name “20-Thirst Amendment,” is it’s solidarity, standing out at a lesser found but well appreciated option and a novel first time brew for the Cannonball Creek crew.
“This beer will finish out and be dry but because of the corn you get kind of this perceived sweetness,” says Lee. “So this pre-prohibition pilsner versus a German pilsner is going to come across just a slightly bit sweeter and also stronger.”
To infuse a little more Cannonball personality, and a trending component that we can’t get enough of, we double down and dry hop “using the same Czech and German hops, just a little bit to make it pop,” says Hutchinson. “Like a nuanced dry hop if you will.”
Cue the brewgiggles.
Beyond our media and Cannonball beer baby we taste some spectacular pours on-site at Collab Fest with notable shout-outs to some of our favorite beers of the day.
- Hands down, the modern farmhouse ale from Paradox Beer Company and Purpose Brewing & Cellars, and we are very much not alone in our unencumbered praise of this liquid gold.
- We really dig the slightly tart and effervescent blackberry brut IPA from Chain Reaction Brewing Company and Square State Brewing.
- Opposites attract with the juicy, salty combo we find in the tropical mango coconut gose from Odell Brewing Company and RiNo Brewhouse & Brewability Lab.
- A throng of Colorado Springs’ breweries (Pikes Peak Brewing Company, Red Leg Brewing Company, Cerberus Brewing Company, Fossil Craft Beer Company, FH Beerworks, Black Forest Brewing Company, Goat Patch Brewing Company, Dueces Wild Brewery, JAKs Brewing Company) link up to make the blurred lines choice of the evening with a wine-beer hybrid made with syrah grapes and a saison yeast that’s tangy, yet mellow.
- We actively seek out probiotic laden beers (pun very much intended) so the desert berliner weisse with yogurt from New Terrain Brewing Company and Molly’s Spirits satiates our lactose inspired cravings.
- Plus, we are always curious about what our favorite “Southern Beer Girl” is up to these days and check in with Alyssa Thorpe, head brewer at Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery, to sample her take with 105 West Brewing Company, a rum barrel aged imperial ice cream old ale that introduces our inner child to our adulting beer of choice.
Check out our adventurous and craft beer community fueled day with these stellar pics, all courtesy of Stephen Martin, owner of Explore with Media, and we highly recommend taking the opportunity in 2020 to sip on just what happens when you brew beer with your besties.
*Header image courtesy of Stephen Martin, Explore with Media