The Heart of Collaboration Pt. 1- Sunriver Brewing- Parkes and Wreck

Over the next couple of Tuesdays we will be releasing a pair of collaboration beers that we did at the Public House. I want to give a little insight into the beers, the process, and what collaboration means for brewers.

When people see collaboration beers they often just see their favorite breweries getting together to make a doubly or even triply better beer. For us as brewers it is a lot about comradery; coming together on beer styles that we both enjoy brewing, and having fun with friends. It is also a lot about trust and belief in a brewers abilities. When you welcome other brewers into your brewery, your opening a door to your brewing soul. You’re allowing them to see and learn from your processes, as well as share ideas and knowledge, Craft brewing is a very welcoming and open industry, but we don’t want to give away all of our secrets. It takes a lot more then just, “Hey you brew beer! Me to. Let’s brew a beer together.”

For us to get together with Sunriver Brewing was a no-brainer on both ends. Sunriver’s Head Brewer Brett Thomas is a close friend. He began his career under our Director of Brewing Operations, Tyler West, at Silvermoon in Bend, OR. Under his time with Tyler Brett received the Glen Hay Falconer Scholarship to the American Brewers guild. Soon after Tyler joined Oakshire and Brett took over as Head Brewer before joining on with Sunriver. 

In early 2013 I joined on with Oakshire as the Public House Manager. Later that year I applied for and received the same scholarship to the American Brewers Guild as Brett had. After I completed the program I moved into brewing under Tyler, eventually working my way to Lead Brewer a few months ago. Over that time, I also became very good friends with Brett. We talked from time to time about coming together to do a collaboration. Tyler was very enthusiastic about the idea of Brett and I brewing together, and finally this year we were able to make it happen.

We wanted to do a beer around the time of the Sasquatch Brew Festival here in Eugene, that is held each year (though it was unfortunately canceled at the last minute this year), in honor of Glen. We each already brew a special beer for the fest each year, so wanted to find another common ground to brew under, and that was our schooling at the American Brewers Guild, and it’s lead instructor, Steve Parkes. The school is located in Vermont, a state known for it’s IPA’s specifically one called Heady Topper, which is where we drew our inspiration to brew a Vermont-style Double IPA. Vermont IPA’s are known to be low bitterness, and heavy hop flavor and aroma.

We met, hashed out all the details and at the end of May I made my way to Central Oregon for the brew day. We laughed, we shared brewing insight, stories, and beers. Really what a collaboration is all about. Now a month later Brett will be making his way down to the Public House for the Eugene release of Parkes and Wreck this coming Tuesday, July 5th. 

Steve Parkes, Lead Instructor for the American Brewers Guild and inspiration for the collaboration

Brett Thomas of Sunriver Brewing on the deck during the collaboration day

(From L-R) Zach and Chris of Sunriver and myself sharing a beer and some laughs as we talk all things beer

Our recipe for Parkes and Wreck

A big shout out to all the folks at Sunriver that made my trip and the brew day so awesome. I look forward to sharing my first taste of the beer with all the customers on Tuesday.

Happy 4th and Cheers to Collaboration!

Dan