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Collaborations open a world of possibilites, Cheers! and Kippis!

Collaborations are often a great opportunity to explore new ideas in brewing and open a world of possibilities. I say “world” because BJ’s Brewhouse recently had an amazing opportunity to participate in a unique collaboration on both sides of the Atlantic with Bryggeri Helsinki in Finland.

 First, BJ’s hosted Pekka Haariainen from Bryggeri Helsinki to brew a Finnish-style Sahti in our Boulder brewery. At BJ’s I have brewed my own version of Sahti called Wild & Crazy Rye based on what I could research about the style. Even though Wild & Crazy Rye has earned GABF and World Beer Cup medals, I was motivated to brew the most “true to style” Sahti possible, one that tastes just like fresh Sahti in Finland. Known as “Mr. Sahti” in his home country, Pekka guided me in brewing what is probably the most authentic Sahti ever brewed in an American brewery. Sahti is a farmhouse ale native to Finland that dates back many years before hops became popular in beer. It is brewed with malted rye and juniper, which we imported directly from Finland with the help of Viking Malting Company to ensure an accurate flavor profile. As in Finland, we fermented our Sahti with baker’s yeast, yielding a deliciously fruity, spicy and resiny flavor profile like no other beer in the world. We call

As a follow up, I was invited to brew a collaboration beer at Bryggeri Helsinki, along with Josh Cody of Colorado Malting Company. We worked directly with Master Brewer Mathias Hoffner. By using Colorado Malts and American hops we were able to offer an American twist on beer in Scandinavia.  The brew was an IPA called “Colorado Blonde.” Check out the video that commemorated the event. Cheers! and Kippis!

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