More Collaborative: Sierra Nevada, Creature Comforts Connect Online for Creation

​For the past few years​, Creature Comforts has partnered with a ​different brewery to create a collaborative beer as a ​part of its ​Get Comfortable fundraiser.

​For this year, the ​Athens, Georgia-based ​brewery ​took up to collaborate with Sierra Nevada​’s East Coast outpost in Mills River, North Carolina​ to brew a Hazy Double IPA​.

Usually, a collaboration is done in-person by the two brands, but the pandemic has altered those types of brew days sometimes and the two breweries instead found an added benefit in the use of online resources.

“I think having multiple times to get face-to-face time is unique,” said Creature Comforts’ Brewmaster Adam Beauchamp to a group online during the announcement of the 2021 Get Comfortable campaign recently. “A lot of times it’s like a conference call. Before COVID you’d get one call, and then you get to email. Then you get an in-person brew day.

“The in-person brew day is amazing. You get to tour the brewery. And it makes it tremendously fun. But I would say now that everybody can get a computer and see each other face to face anytime. We’ve had probably 15 meetings, and then it’s probably more collaborative, honestly, than we typically are. I would say, for sure, a silver lining.”

READ MORE: The Steps Creature Comforts Takes in its Crowd-Sourced Philanthropy

Scott Jennings, the Innovation Brewmaster for Sierra Nevada, agreed. Although about a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Athens, video conferencing is much faster.

“We probably have gotten together a few more times than we would have if we were driving back and forth,” he said.

In the creation of the Get Comfortable Fund beer for this year, Jennings said the breweries talked about a citrus, in the direction of lemon zest. With Citra as the main hop in the Hazy Double IPA. The addition of the experimental hop, HBC 586, was also added as a compliment hop.

“It has some characteristics in those directions,” Jennings said. “[HBC 586]’s got a little bit of a dank, piney quality in there also, hence the tropical.”

Of the eight experimental varieties that the breweries rubbed through, that one was the most complimentary with Citra.

“It’s very exciting, very exciting,” Jennings said of using the hop. “Chances are, the hop will become an available variety in the industry in the coming years.”

HBC 586 is an experimental hop variety from the Hop Breeding Company, which is a joint venture between John I. Haas and Yakima Chief Ranches. It is the result of the hybrid pollination of the mother YCR 21 and male #01239-2.

The aroma of HBC 586 has been described as “a large medley of fruit flavors… Mango, guava, lychee, citrus, with slight sulfur and herbal notes.”

Beauchamp ​said he’s​ ​been tracking it for a couple years.

​”I’ve tried a few beers brewed with it up in Yakima​ ​and it’s always st​oo​d out​,” he said. ​”​It had a terrible yield this year. So we were really lucky to be able to get our hands on as much as we were.

​”[We’re]​ incredibly proud to be able to showcase it to probably most people for the first time ever.​”​

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