These are pages from my beer journal documenting the collaboration between Bryson City Outdoors and Currahee Brewing. We kicked the last keg in Septembero, so now it’s time to reminisce and think about our next collaboration.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

This morning Ben, Brett, and I met at BCO and jumped into the shuttle vehicle to take a trip over to Franklin, NC. Today was our meet up at Currahee Brewing with Brandon, Taylor, and Brookes to discuss a beer collaboration. Yes, I am more than just a little excited. We have wanted to do this and they had an empty tank and a plan! So today we decided to meet to see if we could make it happen.

What will we brew? What sells? What do we like? How can we make a beer that represents us and Currahee? Where will it be sold? It won’t be bottled so we don’t have to worry about co-branding issues. Name for beer? And most importantly, can I come taste the wort? Yep, I’m that person. I love tasting the future of what’s to come.

And then logistics….a pale ale? a lager? ingredients? time frame? Have this beer for our grand opening? In that case, it needs to be at the distributor by the 26th of March in order for us to get it on time.

Wheat? Rye? Hoppy/Juicy Lager? JPL? Let’s go easy drinking maybe with a bigger aroma. What hops? Citra? Ekuanot?

Around a table in Currahee’s taproom, it’s decided. We’ll brew 15bbls of an India Pale Lager. A beer that will appeal to more people and be easy to drink in the hot months of the spring/summer.

Currahee Head brewer Taylor Yates and BCO Co-Owner Brett Hackshaw

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Brett and I drove to Franklin this morning. Being in a car with Brett is like having a business meeting. He’s always so full of ideas and uses his time wisely. We arrived at the brewery around 8:30am.

Brewing a slightly hazy, India Pale Lager with 2 row, unmalted wheat and Europils malts. First hop addition is New Zealand Pacific Jade and will add just a small amount of bitterness. Next hop addition added during boil is Ekuanot and CTZ for aroma and flavor. We’ve decided to dry-hop with Ekuanot for added aroma. Next we added a German lager yeast to a keg to do its thing overnight. The yeast will be pitched into the brew tomorrow morning.

  

Now….we wait.

Wednesday, March 28,  2018

Today, Brookes brought a growler of the Brunch beer for us to try. It is a crisp, drinkable brew. Really, it’s even better than I imagined it would be. Ben, Brenae, and I will be driving over to Currahee on Friday with some swag to giveaway for the taproom release of our beer.

Friday, March 30, 2018

The night is finally here! BCO brunch beer is on tap at Currahee’s Franklin, NC taproom! Currahee’s owner Brandon  and Head Brewer Taylor are there with their families. We say our hellos, settle in and order a pint. I think we did a good job naming the beer. It embraces BCO and the fact the Bryson City just passed the Brunch Bill last month. With a slight breadiness from the malts and yeast, slight citrus ending from the hops,  and a ABV of 5.9% this is a perfect brunch beer. So refreshing. This will be perfect for spring days and sunny afternoons. A great beer for living life outside.

From L to R: Currahee Owner Brandon Hintz, Head Brewer Taylor Yates, Assistant Brewer Brookes Peavyhouse, and BCO Owners Liz Nance, Ben King, and Brett Hackshaw

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Today is the day! We’ll be tapping the brunch beer today for the grand opening of BC Outdoors Craft Beer Department’s taproom. Yesterday we decided that we needed a taphandle. Brett says it should be, “something obnoxious”. So I covered the store while Ben and Brett went to ACE hardware. They came back with a wooden axe handle! Balanced and lightweight, this thing won’t be chopping firewood this winter. Instead, it will be pouring delicious, golden pints of craft beer and starting a lot of conversations. The artwork is all sharpie. I did it while I sat at the bar and drank.

Present Day – December 2018

So now  it’s winter again. A time when things move a little slower and we can start thinking about grand new beer-ventures. The beer is gone, but the memories are fresh. Who will we collaborate with next? Should we brew the Brunch beer again? We had such a good time with the guys from Currahee. I’m looking forward to working with them again.

Stay tuned for new brews! Cheers!