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“It was a lot of fun,” Brian says, “They're a great group of guys up there - really laid back and down to earth. It was a very refreshing brew day, for sure.”

Collab with Carton!

One of the things we truly love about this business is the fact that beer brings people together. New friends and old can gather together over a pint and find some common ground.

This is true, not only of friends, but of the breweries themselves. We’re lucky in New Jersey that we have a ton of great beer coming out of this state — and, considering the fact that the law that really opened the floodgates for breweries only hit the books in 2012, we’re all relatively young and eager.

That’s why, when the subject of a collaboration with Carton Brewing up in Atlantic Highlands came up, we both jumped on board. Our Brew Crew was up there this week to brew up a very special brew.

IMG_0764We’ve got a lot in common with Carton: we’re both in shore towns, we’re both celebrating our seventh anniversaries this year… and we both make great beer. Carton, up in Atlantic Highlands, is within sight of the very top of the Jersey Shore — Sandy Hook — and we’re down here at the very bottom, a concept that inspired the name of this collaboration: Tip-to-Top.

“We’ve been floating the idea of an end-to-end Jersey-Shore collaboration,” Ryan says. “Carton is doing some really great beers in our state, and they’re helping to put New Jersey on the map as a craft beer destination.”

Augie Carton of Carton Brewing is looking forward to the collaboration, as well.

“It’s always fun to explore flavor concepts,” he says, “especially with contemporaries.”

Our Head Brewer — er, Production Manager — Brian Hink is “pumped” about this collaboration, as well.

“They’re a lot like us in the sense that they have few rules and pretty much do whatever they want,” he says. “They definitely don’t brew to strict style guidelines — they like to have fun with their beers and that’s awesome. I’m glad we’re finally getting the chance to work together.”

IMG_0741And this beer is certainly a fun one: a hoppy, lact-oat, India-inspired pale ale with pineapple chutney.

Ryan happens to be a big fan of samosas: the fried, filled dough from the subcontinent of India that they stuff with just about anything — potatoes, lamb, peas… you name it.

“And what goes with samosas?” Ryan asks. “Pineapple chutney.”

“When I was feeling out the collaboration with Ryan,” Augie tells us, “he said that the most interesting thing he’d put in his mouth lately was a cilantro and basil chutney, so I went and wrote a recipe for the chutney additions.”

This beer has a lot of flavors going on. The malt bill is lightened with the addition of a fair amount of oats, and the hops include Citra, Zythos, and Belma — a new variety for us that will add some light citrus notes. The chutney itself has yellow curry powder, turmeric, coriander, cumin, cayenne, cilantro, and basil.

IMG_0734“The original plan was that it would be fun to build on our common love of Saisons,” Augie tells us, “but the more India-inspired the adjuncts became, the more sense a plush, modern pale became. So, we turned the plan to an ‘India-inspired pale,’ leaving the Saison version as a follow-up, chock full of promise.”

Brian is really looking forward to this one.

“This beer is going to be unique and super refreshing, perfect for summer drinking,” he says. “It’s an India-inspired imperial pale ale, which is a really playful approach to take.”

The fruity spiciness of the chutney will play off the rich, full body, with the pineapple accentuating the sweetness of the malt. The oats will lend a pillowy mouthfeel, and the hops are going to tie it all together.

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“I’ve never brewed with Belma hops but have always been interested in them,” Brian says, “so I’m really excited to see how they play off everything else going on.”

And everyone had a great time at the Carton facility in Atlantic Highlands.

“It was a lot of fun,” Brian says, “They’re a great group of guys up there – really laid back and down to earth. It was a very refreshing brew day, for sure.”

Expect Tip-to-Top to be released sometime next month. We brewed this one at Carton, so follow their social media for further information.