Collaboration Brew To Debut at Top of the Hops Fest

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Taylor Smack of Blue Mountain Brewery

Blue Mountain Brewery’s master brewer Taylor Smack was the host of this year’s collaboration brew, an annual joint project of the five breweries that make up the Brew Ridge Trail, the others being Crozet’s Starr Hill Brewery, Charlotteville’s South Street Brewery and Devils Backbone Brewery and Wild Wolf Brewery in Nellysford.

Smack called this year’s recipe a Belgian Black Tripel. “We’ve never tried this before,” he said. “Everything is ‘black’ now. That’s the trend. A Belgian Tripel is a strong, fruity, golden ale. So we’re turning it on its head and adding roasted malts. Normally it would just be dried barley.”

Sixty kegs, or about 1,000 gallons, of the beer will be made and will be available on tap at each of the breweries while the supply lasts. The collaboration project is intended to show the camaraderie among local brewers and promote brewery tourism.

The beer will make its public debut at Charlottesville’s Top of the Hops Beer festival at Ntelos Pavilion Sept. 22.