Elysian and New Belgium Embark on Their Final Trip

December 9th, 2014 · No Comments · Beer Releases

tripThe Trip series of collaboration beers between Elysian Brewing and New Belgium Brewing kicked off with a Trippel IPA back in the spring of 2009. The 20th, and final, installment of the series will be a Dry-hopped Brett Ale that will be available starting at a release party at Elysian Bar on December 16.

It has been a pleasure to drink the Trip releases over the past five years (full list below). New Belgium and Elysian are two of the country’s best craft breweries, in my opinion, and having them pair up for special releases, some of which were available only on draft in the Seattle market, was a treat. As Dick Cantwell mentions below, the Trip series must be one of the longest collaborations between breweries ever seen.

Cheers to the crews at Elysian and New Belgium for making some great beers along the way.

Note from Dick Cantwell on The Trip series:

Before the Trip there were some forays.  We’ll call them skirmishes, conducted by restless brewers eager to get started on an ongoing project that seemed like it was going to be fun.  Peter Bouckaert and Grady Hull of New Belgium traveled to Elysian’s Capitol Hill brewery in Seattle, along with some special bacteria, to make a kettle-soured beer with Dick Cantwell and Markus Stinson named after Peter’s son, Wout. While that was boiling away the brewers went shopping, and ended up brewing again the next day, this time a beer made with persimmons and curry leaf. About the time those beers were ready the paperwork had been filed and approved, and the Trip could begin in earnest.

Trip 1 was a hoppy Belgian-style Trippel, Trip 2 a Citra-hopped pale ale. Trip 3 was a collaboration of both breweries, a concatenation of Elysian-brewed dark lager with a couple of totes-ful of one of New Belgium’s famous sour blending beers. And onward, ever onward, touching down with beers made with juniper, cherry, dandelions, oyster shells, fresh hops and ingredients entirely from the southern hemisphere. The beers began only available on draft in Seattle, but when Elysian expanded its brewery it was possible to make enough to send to the rest of Washington, to Oregon and into California, and in bottles as well as kegs. Each time the beer idea came from a different New Belgium co-worker. Somewhere in there some tavernkeepers got involved.

And here we are, at journey’s end. Trip 20 will release on December 16 at the Elysian Bar in downtown Seattle, concluding the five-year mission with a slightly tangy and easy-drinking pale ale with bold and distinctive hop notes. Once again, the beer will only be available on draft. 

This was a fun beer to brew, partly because there were a lot of people on hand, including Peter and Dick, who collaborated on this last Trip idea, and Chris Murakami, who did most of the work. We began with a simple enough malt bill of pale and C-77 crystal, bumped the gravity and lightened the body with some sugar, adding Magnum hops to bitter and Styrian Goldings to finish, with some French Strisselspalt for dry hopping. Then the x-factor, brettanomyces, was added in the bright tank immediately before kegging, and the kegs were warm conditioned for more than a month.

It’s been a great Trip, linking two fabulous breweries for what has to be one of the longest collaborations ever. Friendships and relationships have formed along the way. A lot has changed, and a lot has stayed the same.  Trip 20 may turn out to be the final destination for this series of beers, but it’s really been about the journey.

– Dick Cantwell

Elysian Co-founder and Head Brewer

Information on the release party:

Please join us to raise a pint!

Tuesday, December 16th from 4-8PM at Elysian Bar
1516 2nd Avenue, Downtown Seattle

Take a Trip with Us… Trip 20 – the final collaborative brew of the Trip Series, a 5 year journey between two breweries and a cast of supporting characters along the way. We hope you’ll join us to raise a pint in honor of this long running collaboration and for each other, our friends and comrades in beer brewing, drinking and sharing!

Be among the first to try Trip 20 Dry-hopped Brett Ale with a pairing bite prepared by the chefs at Elysian Bar. Both Elysian and New Belgium taps will be flowing, and staff from both New Belgium and Elysian will be on hand to answer any questions, and share stories about this lengthy collaborative journey.

TRIP I – Trippel IPA
TRIP II – Citra Hop Pale Ale
TRIP III – Dark Sour Blend
TRIP IV – Juniper Ale
TRIP V – Cocoa Cherry Brown Ale
TRIP VI – Wet Hop Ale
TRIP VII – Winter Here, Summer There
TRIP VIII – Imperial IPA
TRIP IX – Down Under IPA
TRIP X – ’72 El Dorado
TRIP XI – Farmhouse Ale with rosemary and sage
TRIP XII – Pink Peppercorn IPA
TRIP XIII – Blonde Ale with honey and chamomile
TRIP XIV – Imperial Fresh Hop with orange peel
TRIP XV – Buckwheat Belgian-style Ale with dates and dandelion
TRIP XVI – Seattle Farmhouse Rye Ale
TRIP XVII – Segal Ranch Cascade Rye IPA
TRIP XVIII – El Dorado Fresh Hop IPA
TRIP XIX – Taylor Shellfish Oyster Stout
TRIP XX – Dry-hopped Brett Ale


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