For our first collaboration featuring three breweries, we selected our partners following the same approach we’ve used for previous collaboration projects. Our goal is to work with brewers for whom we have mutual respect while learning new techniques and celebrating the strengths of each brewery. Arizona Wilderness has become known as champions for local ingredients in innovative beers while the Creature Comforts crew is “dedicated to better being through being curious.” It’s no coincidence that we absolutely LOVE enjoying beers with both brewery teams. For the full backstory on our relationships with both breweries, please head to a previous Brewer’s Blog post.
Built on a base of two-row pale malt, Sonoran White Wheat, honey malt and corn grits, Collaboration No. 7 – Oak-Aged Lager showcases Riesling grape juice, peaches and lemon zest in a crisp lager hopped with Nelson Sauvin, Lemondrop and Hallertau Blancs. Following fermentation with the Ayinger lager strain, Collaboration No. 7 was briefly aged on Cuvee No. 5 Tank Staves, French oak staves that impart fruit, spice, toast and tannins similar to aging in a fresh/virgin French oak barrel.
At 6% ABV and 16 IBUs, Collaboration No. 7 Oak-Aged Lager pours a brilliant golden color with tight, off-white lacing. Bright aromas of peach and Riesling grapes mingle with the tropical fruit notes provided by subtle hopping. Lemon zest accentuates the naturally citrusy character of the beer as the malt bill forms a slightly sweet, honey-like base from which the chosen regional ingredients shine. French oak character lends a drying effect resulting in a bright, fruity lager that finishes incredibly crisp. Bottle conditioned with champagne yeast, Collaboration No. 7 – Oak-Aged Lager has fluffy, effervescent carbonation that scrubs the palate and begs for another sip.