Craft beer's big brother Sierra Nevada has teamed up with 30 breweries from across the country to make six "super groups," carved out of each geographic region of the United States. “Sierra Nevada, along with these bands of brewers," the company states, "will create an all-new mixed pack of beers that showcases the art, spirit and attitude of American craft beer.” This 12-pack will be available starting in May.
The pack will be split among six different regions of the country, with each region producing one of the beers in a mega collaboration. For us in the Southeast, the breweries featured are:
- Funky Buddha Brewery – Oakland Park, FL
- Wicked Weed Brewing – Asheville, NC
- Austin Beerworks – Austin, TX
- Bayou Teche Brewing – Arnaudville, LA
- Creature Comforts Brewing Co. – Athens, GA
- Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. – Mills River, NC
Towards the end of 2015, some of the brewing team at Funky Buddha Brewery flew up to Asheville, North Carolina, to brew a test batch of what would soon become the final choice for the six breweries. At the time, owner and brewer Ryan Sentz wouldn't say what the beer would be, only that "it is going to be f’in delicious!”
Now we know what it will be: Sweet Sunny South. A "Southern table beer."
According to the statement from the brewery: "The south holds strong to its traditional flavors — tea, honey-sweet peaches, and corn grits — so we looked at those culinary cues for this Southern-inspired table beer. With a golden grainy malt body and complex tangy finish from the fruit, tea and herbs, Sweet Sunny South is perfect for sultry summer sipping."
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The beer will be appropriately interesting. It clocks in at 4.9 percent ABV with 23 IBUs. Saison yeast takes the helm over Pilsner, Acidulated, and Wheat malts, Magnum bittering hops, and Hallertau Blanc and Huell Melon finishing hops. In addition, a range of adjuncts have been used as well: corn grits, black tea, honeysuckle, peach, papaya, guava, and prickly pear.
Quite the feast of flavors. One can imagine the 12-pack will be highly sought after.
Starting in June, Sierra Nevada will kick off a six-city beer festival tour beginning in Tampa. The six beers featured in this collaboration effort will be on tap, as well as beers from many more breweries.
Doug Fairall is a craft beer blogger who focuses on Florida beers. He is a Certified Beer Server and has been a homebrewer since 2010. For beer things in your Twitter feed, follow him @DougFairall and find the latest beer pics on Clean Plate's Instagram.