Photo Permission: Atrevida Beer Co
Nothing embodies the spirit of co-opetition better than a good old-fashioned brewery collaboration. This week marks the 3rd year in a row that Border X Brewing of San Diego and Atrevida Beer Co. of Colorado Springs have collaborated to make their annual holiday release. The beer, called Amistad, is a Rompope inspired Golden Stout, flavored with rum-soaked oak spirals. Rompope is a Mexican celebratory beverage not unlike eggnog with rum, whose consumption is definitely more frequent in the holidays.
The two breweries, roughly 1200 miles between them, connected at the Great American Beer Festival a few years back and felt a strong need to work together. Both breweries are Latin owned and operated, and the beers they each brew are inspired by and in honor of Mexican/Chicano culture and flavors. The breweries then decided to pay homage to the close bond of friendship formed between the two brew crews, naming their first (but far from last) collaboration Amistad, which means friendship.
The idea behind the beer is that the base recipe is identical, brewed on two different systems at the two different breweries, but with locally sourced rum for flavoring. Atrevida has opted to use Sweet Tea Rum made by Cockpit Craft Distillery in Colorado Springs. This imparts an extra layer of sweetness into the already richly-flavored beer. Border X opted for a more intense rum experience, using San Diego Spiced Rum from Liberty Call Distilling of San Diego. The spices in the rum add an extra layer of complexity on top of the boozy, oaky flavors found in this winter warmer. Being that breweries cannot legally add liquor directly to beer (ridiculous, I know), the breweries soaked oak chips in their rum to absorb the flavor, almost like an internal oak barrel.
Atrevida released their rendition of the beer on Wednesday, December 16, 2020, and Border X is slated to release theirs on the 21st of December. Both breweries are currently open for outdoor-only on-premise consumption, but will have the beer available on draft and in crowlers to-go (that was a lot of hyphens for a single sentence, I know). In the spirit of friendship, solidarity, and celebration, if you’re in range of either one of these wonderful breweries, consider stopping by and grabbing some cans of this fantastic seasonal offering. The beer industry is in dire straits once again on a national level, and the little guys need you to come out and support far more than the big guys do. That means that instead of the liquor store six-pack imported from Iceland (100% self-burn), stop into a local brewery and spend your money there. It will go further and directly support the people who pour their blood, sweat and tears into their craft. Cheers, and happy holidays!