Collaborations can be tricky. How many Rock-Rap combos do we need to
witness for the conclusion to be made = sometimes the whole is not greater than
the sum of its parts.
But beer is different. Much of the best beer that has come out of
the craft beer craze of the past 5 years is a result of mixing new, adventurous
styles with time honored recipes and traditional methods.
Music fans cringed when Elton John joined
Eminem at the color:#1F497D;mso-themecolor:dark2">Grammy’s in ’06
Beer fans salivated when SD’s award winning
Green Flash brewery announced Biere de
L’Amitie a ‘friendship brew’ was going to be made together with legendary
Belgian brewery St. Feuillien in 2010.
The result was a blond Belgian Ale with traditional spices combined with
a dry hopped SD inspired twist. It did not disappoint.
Last month URBANIST was honored to take
part in an interview session with Green Flash Brewmaster, Chuck Silva, founder
Mike Hinkley and Brasserie St. Feuillien Brewmaster, Alexi Briole. Two years had passed since Chuck headed to
Belgium to brew and now Alexi was here to keep the friendship going.
San Diego’s craft beer prominence is being
recognized the world over but the monasteries sprinkled throughout Belgium are
still the undisputed world kings of beers.
It was interesting to learn just how different these two beer hotbeds
are. St. Feuillien is one of the most
respected names in Belgian brewing. They
have been at it since 1873 with the same recipes passed down through 4
generations. They only produce 4 styles
of beer. Alexi proudly stated that they
had experimented with 2 new styles in the last 25 years. 2 experiments in 25 years?!! SD brew masters have been known to
experiment with new flavors 2 times a month.
It was clear that Alexi was eager to test
out some new brewing ideas with Chuck, and Chuck was humbled by the traditions and
craftsmanship of Alexi and his ancestors.
Alexi was serious about the history of beer, but not too serious. When the journalists kept
questioning him about how the Belgian beer scene felt about San Diego’s hoppy
beers, he taught us all an important lesson by replying, “It is not as important to
speak about beer. More important to
The 2012 edition of Biere de L’Amitie will
- a Black Saison (a little bit of an Oatmeal Stout mixed with
- using a combination of both European and
- @ 6% ABV
- @ 80 half barrels will be produced in SD,
mostly available at the Green Flash Brewery and Tasting Room (starting May