Bellingham’s brewers are putting out more and more product and the community keeps drinking. Each brewery has its own unique style and ambiance. So its a pretty special occasion when two of them decide to collaborate and create together.
Dave Vitt, owner of Kulshan Brewing and Chad Kuehl, owner of Wander Brewing, are friends and they both make incredible beers. When they saw Bellingham Beer Week (BBW) coming they decided to combine their talents and use them to celebrate our city’s biggest craft beer event.
We collaborated because we’re friends. Both of us brew different styles and collaborations are educational for both sides. – Chad Kuehl, Wander Brewing
Bellingham Beer Week is a time for not just Bellingham to celebrate its awesome craft beer community, but also the region to learn more about us. BBW pulls in tourists from around the region and when they see our breweries working together, they see us putting our best foot forward.
When you collaborate on a beer most of the joint work happens at the planning and recipe building stages. There were six or seven people that got together to discuss the collaboration, including Tom, Kulshan’s Head Brewer, upstairs at Kulshan’s K2 location. Chad and Dave sat down and decided on an easy drinking raspberry lager. Chad loves the lagers that Kulshan brews and Dave really enjoys the fruit inspired beers of Wander, specifically the Millie series. With raspberries in season and Skagit Valley Malting putting out such a good product, they wanted to showcase local ingredients. After going over ideas they decided on an easy drinking raspberry lager.
The beer was brewed at K2 and Chad was there for brew day. They used 1,200lbs of raspberries from Samson Farms in Everson and base malts from Skagit Valley Malting. They put the raspberries in the mash mixer to break them apart and pasteurize them. The result of this collaboration was a 70bbls of 3.5% ABV Raspberry Lager. The collaboration produced 600 cases of cans and 50 kegs of draft. The beer was also canned at K2. One side has Wander’s logo and another has Kulshan’s.
The beer isn’t the official BBW beer, but it was intended to celebrate Bellingham Beer Week and, while it may be gone by this year’s festivities, you can get it on draft at K2 and Wander. If we’re lucky, a keg or two might be left to offer up to everyone for BBW 2016! You can also pick up six packs at both locations.
Bellingham’s beer community is like no other. The breweries keep coming and our community keeps getting stronger. Collaborations like these speak to the diversity and potential Bellingham has. Make sure to head on down and grab a pint of Kulshan and Wander’s Raspberry Lager to drink or for your collection!