For the 2017 release of its annual 3-Way IPAFort George Brewery brought together Reuben’s Brews from Seattle and Great Notion Brewing from Portland to collaborate on this IPA. What is always one of the anticipated beer releases to welcome in the warmer months, this year’s 3-Way IPA will once again attract the masses when it begins to hit the marketplace in late May.
Each year Fort George picks a few hot breweries to collaborate with on its annual 3-Way IPA. This year is no exception with bringing in Reuben’s Brews and the up and coming Great Notion Brewing for a beer that will be released in 16 oz. cans and on draft throughout the Pacific Northwest.
So how did this collaboration come about? Here’s the story as told by Fort George’s Brad Blaser…
This year’s 3-Way IPA collaboration has been in development since last year. The owner/brewers from Reuben’s Brews (Seattle, WA) and Great Notion Brewing (Portland, OR) traveled out to the far-northwest tip of Oregon in early November. As is tradition, guests were treated to the completely unique Astoria experience. While details of that night remain hazy, everyone was up and ready to meet the following morning.
Day two is when the real heavy lifting began. Hidden away among the aging barrels in the Lovell Building at Fort George, all three parties sat down to sample beer and pitch recipe ideas for this year’s 3-Way IPA. The general style was agreed upon: juicy, light in color, juicy & fruit-forward, extra juicy, with oats and wheat for a smooth, juicy mouthfeel. Hop varieties were recommended. Yeast strains were discussed. Each suggestion was offered with a corresponding beer sample. Trays and trays of glassware went back and forth from the Lovell Taproom until the meeting table was an obstacle course of crowlers and cans.
At the end of the day a consensus was reached. Azacca, X331 (now called Strata), Mosaic, and Citra were picked for the hop additions. And with months until the release date, multiple test batches were scheduled utilizing a variety of yeasts. Throughout the Beta IPA test batch process, seven small batches were brewed with hands-on participation from everyone. Copious notes were sent after every batch: subtle adjustments to temperatures, dry-hopping schedules, cuts in malts, can we make it more hoppy, CAN WE MAKE IT MORE JUICY?!? The participation among collaborators was unprecedented, and each batch was a chance to learn, refine, and perfect another pint.
Now it is mid-May and the fermenters are filling. This fruit-forward haze of Azacca, X331, Mosaic, and Citra hops plays on a balanced bassline of malt with a wicked unfiltered keytar solo. 3-Way IPA 2017 is a juicy collaboration that strikes a smooth, electric gold riff on a Vermont style. Look for 3-Way IPA releasing in Astoria for Memorial Day Weekend and throughout the Pacific Northwest beginning June 1st.
Fort George along with Reuben’s Brews and Great Notion will be taking to the streets and the trolley line in Astoria, Portland and Seattle. Here’s a breakdown on the three 3-Way IPA release parties.
Astoria 3-Way IPA Trolley Tour When: Thursday, May 25th from 6pm to 9pm Where: 39th Street Riverwalk Trolley Stop in Astoria What: Your trolley ticket buys a tour on Old 300 for a private night along the Astoria Riverwalk including stops for hop-forward pints from Reuben’s, Great Notion, and Fort George. The final destination is the Captain’s Suite at Pier 39 for the absolute freshest 3-Way IPA you will ever get, canned only hours before at Fort George Brewery. How: Tickets are $30 and space is limited. Reserve your seat at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fort-george-3-way-ipa-2017-release-party-ipa-trolley-tour-tickets-34286541970.
Portland 3-Way IPA Release Party When: Friday, June 9th from 6pm to 9pm Where: Alberta Street Pub, 1036 NE Alberta St. What: Join Fort George, Reuben’s, and Great Notion as they kick-start Portland Beer Week. Live music from Portland supergroup Boys II Gentlemen plus plenty of taps from the collaborators including 3-Way IPA. How: No cover. Robot costumes are optional, but highly recommended.
Seattle 3-Way IPA Release Party When: Saturday, June 10th from 5pm to 9pm Where: Reuben’s Brews, 5010 14th Ave. NW What: Reuben’s hosts the 3-Way IPA festivities, and they’ll have plenty of Great Notion and Fort George on tap along with 3-Way IPA. Live music mix from DJ Draft Punk. How: No cover with a chance of a laser lightshow.
D.J. is a Portland, Oregon based writer that spent his formative years in the Midwest. With over 20 years under his belt of drinking beer at festivals across America and the world, he has developed a strong appreciation and understanding of craft beer and the industry that surrounds it. He can be found in any of the great breweries or beer bars that make Portland the best beer city in the world. His writing can also be found in Northwest Brewing News and can be followed on Twitter at @hopapalooza.