A collaboration with Cambridge Brewing Company in celebration of EVOO’s 20th anniversary
We have been racking our brains on ways to celebrate our 20th anniversary at EVOO. It’s a big deal to us and we want to have fun with it. The light bulb came on, poof.. right above my head.. I really like beer and Cambridge Brewing Company, our Kendall Square neighbor, makes really great beer. Why not ask them if they would be interested in collaborating on a beer to celebrate our 20th? I emailed CBC’s owner and cool guy Phil Bannatyne to see if CBC would be willing to collaborate with us on a beer for our celebration. His positive response was surprisingly immediate. I’m sure it’s a bit of a pain-in-the-ass to meet with us (twice so far) and fit us into their tight brew schedule. Thanks Phil!
Phil put me in touch with CBC’s longtime brewmaster Will Meyers. I have met Will several times over the years beginning when CBC was in it’s early days and the brewers were also the delivery drivers. Will made the beer and then delivered it to us. Since EVOO only serves local beer, we have been reaping the rewards of Will’s talents for many years. Early on at EVOO’s original location with limited space and only 2 taps, our beer list was quite short. We were determined to keep it local and with CBC was right down the street, we were sure to keep at least one of their beers on our list. Now, with our new (8 plus years) location, we have 8 taps, a designated beer walk-in and more bar refrigeration. Even with the multitude of local breweries that have sprung up, we still always have at least one CBC beer on our list.
Why an IPA?
Well, it’s our favorite style of ale, we’re selfish and we want an IPA. With the help of Brewmaster Will Meyers we hope to make an easy to drink early-summer IPA, a beer that makes you want to hang out on the patio at EVOO, Za or CBC and feel good about having a second one.
Taste and sniff
As I mentioned we have met with Will twice. The first time Colleen, Dan and I met him at CBC where Will graciously took time to talk with us about what we were hoping to do. He also gave us a tour of the brewery, explaining the process that we will follow to make our beer. Will then set up a second meeting at EVOO where he brought by some local grains and some hops for us to check out. It was quite interesting to taste the grains and sniff the dry and then wet hops, comparing the different smells and tastes, discussing the differences and determining what we wanted to use.
We chose to go with mostly two row barley adding some oats and rye to round out the flavor and mouth-feel. For the hops we are going to use mostly Citra with some Falconer to add some interesting depth. We want a great IPA with about a 6% abv that everyone will want to celebrate our big 2-0 with.
Next week we plan on showing up on brew day, at the ungodly hour of 7am. I’m sure we will be in their way, taking photos so we will be able to claim that we personally took part in brewing EVOO’s festive beer, EVOO 20 IPA. After about three weeks of flavors steeping and fermentation the beer should be ready to go on June 1st, just in time for the Eat. Drink. Think. event we are hosting that night with Good Food 100 Restaurants, kicking off what we hope is a month long celebration. Can’t wait to taste it!