Our non-barrel aged beer of this release is a collaboration with the Eugene Symphony for its 2nd annual SymFest on Saturday, June 3rd. SymFest is the symphony's celebration of all things Eugene and the surrounding Willamette Valley, and a great chance to try out the symphony if you’ve never been before. Before the main concert, they offer beer and wine tastings in the lobby of the Hult Center, and food carts outside, with a bluegrass band and marimba players adding to the fun. The smaller theater inside the Hult Center will feature a showcase of local performing arts groups hosted by Eugene’s Slug Queen and including a mariachi band and dancers. The main concert features the orchestra with Eugene vocalist Siri Vik and the trio Time for Three playing mash ups of classical and pop music. Afterwards, you have two ways to end the night – either dancing to a DJ in the lobby or relaxing in the jazz lounge – or do both! And all of this is included in the concert ticket (starting at $21).
We carried the local theme of SymFest into our beer. This Strawberry Gose is made from 100% Oregon grown, harvested, and cultured ingredients. The grain came from Mecca Grade Malt in Madras, hops from Crosby in Woodburn, yeast from Imperial Yeast in Portland, Lactobacillus from Springfield, hand-harvested Oregon coast sea salt from Jacobson, and Strawberries from Stahlbush Island Farms outside Corvallis. This is the first time we used Mecca Grade Malt and we are incredibly impressed. The malt imparted a very unique grass and spice character that really added to the depth of the beer and we will be experimenting more with it in our saisons over the next few months.
The beer came out hazy, pink in color and mildly tart. If it ever decides to stop raining here in Oregon, this beer is going to be awesome on a hot sunny day!
Collaborations are always fun and help get a brewer out of his comfort zone to learn some new tricks and techniques. The best part of this collaboration, though, was wrapping up brew day over a shift beer with an intimate performance by the symphony's principal cellist Anne Ridlington.
The music-beer collaboration is really flowing over the next few weeks. A string ensemble from the orchestra will serenade us during our release of this beer at our event on May 20th. We are also doing an event with Tap & Growler on June 2nd at which all proceeds from a keg of Strawberry Symphony will go to the Eugene Symphony Association! AND we will be pouring at the main event – SymFest – on June 3rd at the Hult Center! Don’t miss it!