Ah, Bonjour!  Or as they say in the correct, American way, “Howdy, Chumps and Chumpettes”.  Today I’ve got something interesting to show you all: a brewery collaboration!  It’s a wonderful thing when two breweries who love each other very much decide to do a special hug to make a baby happen.  Generally, this is a very synergistic process, where the combined effort is greater than the sum of either’s separate effort.  I’ve noticed that these collaborations come in three flavors.  I have named them Larry, Curly, and Moe, for reasons that will become obvious.
Larry collaborations are when one brewery will do the first half of the process, and another will finish it off with their special touch, much in the same way Larry will put a wood saw on a high ladder, waiting for another stooge to jostle and saw down their scalp.  The Jolly Pumpkin/Maui Brewing Sobrehumano Palena’ole team-up was an example of this.  I squirreled away a few cans of the Maui fruit beer hoping that someday I will find a bottle that Jolly Pumpkin took to be soured and blended.
Curly style collaborations are the ones describe the kind of beers that are made when a bigger brewery will invite a smaller craft brewer with a cult-following to assist in a beer, using something special the small brewery has to offer.  This results in big production, good quality-control, and a metric ton of good press and exposure for the small brewery.  I relate this one to Curly, because of the running gag where his uniquely thick numb-skull could be used by the other two stooges as a battering ram, hammer, monkey wrench, etc.
Now, the third style are my personal favorite.  Moe style collaborations is where two breweries is working in perfect harmony, straight up Ebony and Ivory style.  Picture the perfect comedy of a two-finger eye-poke blocked by a flat hand, then instantly turned into a two-hand eye-poke, then into a “follow the birdie” distraction and slap to the face.  Ah, la perfection de la comédie.  I find that this is a rare one, but the Brash Brewing/Clown Shoes collaboration called “Pimp”, where they both brewed a 10% double brown ale and blended them together came close.  A fantastic comic-book fantasy team up if there ever was one.
The beer today is a collaboration that took place in the New Belgium “Lips of Faith” series.  They collaborated with Brewery Viviant, a small farmhouse-ale and Belgian style brewery.  We all know how Belgians love their yeast!  The people at Brewery Viviant brought this amazing yeast strain of theirs to New Belgium to make a French style beer, a Biere de Garde.  Brewed with orange peel, slightly tart, and hinted with bergamot.  The nose gives great justice to the yeast, with bits of bubblegum and a tart green apple.  The flavor reflects this, but with the addition of carmelly malt and just a slight dryness of hops.  Just slightly, mind you.  Anyone who really values a good yeast character or thinks themselves a Belgian at heart should give this collaboration a shot.  A great first impression to many for Brewery Viviant.