A new year means new friends, new resolutions and new beers. In a partnership spanning Oregon’s bountiful Willamette Valley to Virginia’s heartland, Ninkasi Brewing Co. and Devils Backbone Brewing Co. are uniting to offer a collaboration beer that is crisp, complex and a nod to a traditional German beer style. The beer, The Devil Went Down to Oregon, is an Imperial Dark Rye, brewed with West Coast-style hops, Dark and Crystal rye, and fermented with an Alt yeast strain.
“This beer offers a lot of complexity from start of finish and is unlike anything we’ve brewed before,” said Jamie Floyd, founding brewer and co-founder of Ninkasi. “The Alt yeast offers a slight hint of vanilla that opens to a spicy hop aroma. A sweet, malt flavor follows which lends itself to the drying, nuttiness of the rye and then is softened in the finish by the wheat and earthy, grassy and floral hop notes.”
Floyd became good friends with Steve Crandall, Devils Backbone founder, almost five years ago when Crandall visited the brewery and toured with Floyd.
“I had, and continue to have, a huge amount of respect for Ninkasi,” explained Crandall. “We visited the brewery to gain some insight into how Ninkasi was successfully managing its growth; we learned a lot and have been able to use some of that knowledge as we grow our own brewery here in Virginia.”
This past year, Floyd also judged the 2014 World Beer Cup alongside Jason Oliver, Devils Backbone brewmaster. “It became clear that we shared a love for traditional brewing, especially when it comes to German styles of beer, along with a love of metal music, which is always close to my heart,” Floyd said.
“This beer was developed organically,” Oliver said. “We took an initial idea of brewing an Alt beer and eventually landed on a recipe that nods to a relatively unknown Old World German-style of beer, the German-Style Roggenbier, and brewed it with modern West Coast ingredients.”
“Collaboration in my mind should always strengthen friendships and this beer is a perfect example of how fun the process can be,” said Floyd.
The Devil Went Down to Oregon Stats
Description: It might be a sin, but take the bet and you won’t regret this beer from start to end! In a collaboration spanning Oregon’s bountiful Willamette Valley to Virginia’s heartland, Steve Crandall and Jason Oliver of Devils Backbone Brewing took the bet and gave the Devil his due when our founding brewer, Jamie Floyd, came ‘a-calling. What the trio first described as “a sort of West Coast, German-Style Roggenbier” turned into an Imperial Dark Rye, offering an elevated alcohol percentage and a crisp, lager-like finish from the Alt yeast fermentation. Give the Devil his due!
Style: Imperial Dark Rye
Series: Special Release Series
Available: January – April 2015
ABV: 7.2 percent
Starting Gravity: 1074
Malt: Bohemian Pilsner, Premium Pilsner, 2-Row Pale, Dark Wheat, Rye, Crystal Rye, Golden Naked Oats, Midnight Wheat
Hops: Chinook, Simcoe, Mt. Hood, Willamette, Tettnang
Packaging: 22-ounce bottles and draft (12-ounce bottles included in the Ninkasi Spring Variety Pack)
Distribution: Alaska; Alberta; Arizona; California; Colorado; Idaho; Nevada; Oregon; Washington; and Vancouver, British Columbia