Last week I attended a dinner at the Anchor Brewery as a launch party for the first Sierra Nevada 30th anniversary celebration line. Sierra is releasing beers as a tribute to and in collaboration with pioneers of the craft brewing industry. From a press release:
March of 2010 will see the first of four beers in a series of collaborative projects with America’s craft-brewing pioneers: Fritz Maytag of Anchor Brewing; Jack McAuliffe, founder of New Albion Brewery; and authors, homebrewers, and beer advocates Fred Eckhardt, and Charlie Papazian. Together, this group is credited as ‘the men who launched a thousand breweries;’ and without them, our current day craft-beer-renaissance might never have happened.
We also had another nine beers from both brewers during dinner, including Anchor Humming Ale that was released last fall to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the current brewery building, and some ale fresh out of Anchor's fermenters. The tribute beer, called Fritz and Ken's Ale (for Fritz Maytag of Anchor and Ken Grossman of Sierra) was rich and delicious and definitely recommended. Grossman said the beer will probably age well for a year or two so you can stock up on the stuff.
I think this is a really awesome project for Sierra Nevada. Rather than making their big anniversary all about their brand and what they've achieved, they've made it about their colleagues who allowed them to get there. Look for three other releases throughout 2010.