We love a good collaboration and a good pun. The latter isn’t as easy to come by these days in craft beer because so many have already been used and abused, but the third installment in Fort Collins Brewery’s Hybrid Series nails it on both fronts: Stout, Collaborate & Listen, a collaboration brew with Verboten Brewing.
“We always love collaborating with friends in our craft brew community,” said Verboten Head Brewer Josh Grenz. “We count FCB as good friends and a staple brewery. We both make high-quality consistent beers, so it was fun to come up with something together.” This continuation of the Hybrid Series blends two styles with inspirations drawn from FCB’s Shot Down Chocolate Stout and Verboten’s Pure Imagination Oatmeal Stout. The result, a Steam Coffee Stout.
“There are several things that are unique about this beer,” said Grenz, “cocoa husks in the mash, a touch of smoke malt for the roastiness, and coffee in the fermenter.” The Dazbog coffee utilized, Grenz explained, was ground specifically to bring out the highest amount of aromatics from the coffee. Other than aromas of fresh brewed coffee, the 7.1 percent ABV brew also has hints of vanilla and cacao.
While Stout, Collaborate & Listen has many features of a true coffee stout, the collaboration beer is brewed without dark malts leaving the appearance significantly lighter in color and body. “The amalgamation of coffee, vanilla and cacao plays well with the steam lager yeast,” said Josh Hall, FCB’s brand ambassador and resident Vanilla Ice fan. “The result is a distinctly different yet drinkable beer that finishes dry but leaves a bit of coffee on the palate.”
To make this all just several percentage points more fun, to celebrate the release, FCB and Verboten will host dual release parties. FCB will throw a ’90s themed release on August 25 at 5 p.m. Guests are encouraged to show up in neon, grunge or other ’90s inspired fashion. Verboten Brewing will continue the party the next day with a toast starting at 5 p.m.
Verboten Brewing opened in early 2013 as a true boutique brewery featuring 16 tap handles, one nitro tap and rotating beers introduced every few weeks. The brewery uses as much seasonal and local ingredients as possible in each of their handcrafted ales, often adding their own twist to classic beer styles so that selections are new and exciting.