Santa Monica Brew Works Collaborates with German Craft Brewery to Release Oktoberfest Sister City Beer

Santa Monica Brew Works (SMBW) celebrates Oktoberfest by announcing an international collaboration that brings a taste of Germany to the California coast. The brewery teamed up with their craft beer ‘siblings’, Hammona Bräu of Hamm Germany, to develop the unique brew celebrating their intercontinental connection. Production teams met virtually via video conference to formulate the recipe and discuss the brewing process.

When the team at SMBW was thinking about how to make this year’s Oktoberfest release unique, they were delighted to discover that one of Santa Monica’s official Sister Cities is Hamm, Germany – home of award-winning craft brewery Hammona Bräu. Since 1969, the cities of Hamm and Santa Monica have shared an appreciation for each other’s cultures through the Sister Cities program – and now, the international kinship has inspired its very own beer recipe.

“For centuries, Oktoberfest has brought people together from all over the world to celebrate fantastic beer.” Said Scott Francis, SMBW’s Co-Founder, President & CEO. “This year is obviously a bit different – but we’re thankful for this unique opportunity to connect with our craft beer brethren in Germany.”

“We are pleased to be part of this collaboration.” Says Mario Gadiel, Owner, Co-Founder & Brewer of Hammona Bräu. “The people of Hamm love old traditions and new friendships.”

Oktoberfest Citra Helles (5.0% ABV), is an old-world-style lager brewed with Americangrown hops which adds a zesty punch of flavor. Helles, meaning “bright” – is a traditional German-style lager characterized by its pale color, soft malt character, and refreshing finish. For this one-of-a-kind variation, the brewers added Citra hops which provide a vibrant citrus quality. Both breweries will release their own version of the collaboration brew from their respective Tasting Room outlets. SMBW’s version is available in 19.2 oz cans on-sale starting Friday, September 25th.

“We chose to brew a Helles lager. A style that’s very popular in Bavaria during Oktoberfest.” Said Dennis Hecker, Owner, Co-Founder & Brewer of Hammona Bräu. “A nice light beer, that’s very drinkable with a great hop aroma.”

“We wanted to balance characteristics from traditional German lagers and hop-forward West Coast-style ales.” Said Drew Pomatti, SMBW’s Head Brewer.

“A little note of fresh lemon gives way to a familiar light, bready malt base,” adds SMBW Brewer Dominic Larubina. “We love the way it turned out, a very sessionable lager.”

The limited-edition collaboration brew launches this week to commemorate Oktoberfest – the world’s largest celebration of beer. Unfortunately, the traditional festival in Munich is cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic – but the brewers believe this special release will provide a festive feeling for beer lovers while they enjoy at home.

The label design captures the spirit of the collaboration, showcasing Hamm’s unique architecture and checkered crest alongside palm trees and ocean waves representing Santa Monica’s “Beach Brewed” lifestyle.

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