Collaborations: Paw Paw Brewing and Right Brain Brewery

Part of the impact of the craft beer movement is how it is changing the spirit of competition.  It wasn’t too long ago that if you did not find a way to differentiate yourself and crush your competition you would be more likely to be swallowed in the wake of your competition’s growth.  It’s a jungle out there, kill or be killed.  Fade to craft beer…

Times have really changed.  Sure businesses still must fight for market share, this is something that will never change fundamentally.  But at the same time, in the beer world you will find a new spirit of esprit de corps.  Breweries are working together for the benefit of all.  Collaboration beers have become the norm instead of the exception. 

Earlier today I spent some time at Paw Paw Brewing while they hosted the brew team from Right Brain Brewery brewing the first in a series of joint venture beers.  The brew today was for a big imperial stout (estimated around 10%), with a couple different brews planned for next week when the team from Paw Paw heads up to Traverse City.

Collaborations like this are a chance for each brew team to gain some new insights that they might have missed on their own.  This sharing of experiences is something almost unheard of in the “normal” business world.  Intellectual property, including hits and misses, can be something hard earned and meant to be hoarded.  In the new beer world, coming together like this is a chance to share experiences with like minded people. 

Hop additions throughout the brew.

 The lauter doing its thing, making the sweet wort.

 Precleaning the mash tun before the emptying.

 Adding last runnings into the boil.

 Emptying the mash tun.  Do we have some uses for spent grain?

One of the most important parts of brewers coming together, beer to share.  The guys from Right Brain brought down a few growlers.  One of the growlers was Thai Peanut (brewed with Thai chilies, lemon grass, and peanuts).  This one is only available in their tasting room. 

Time for a pint…

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6 thoughts on “Collaborations: Paw Paw Brewing and Right Brain Brewery

  1. Jon,Thanks for stopping by my blog and the fact that it brought me to yours is cool. I had the chance to interview some guys in a beer brewing club–which I placed on my blog back in its early days. It really gave me an appreciation for the text and images here. There definitely WAS comaraderie between the guys and that's so cool. Of course, I wouldn't suppose that had anything to do with the good spirits? No pum intended. 🙂

  2. I am not sure what the big brewers do with their spent grains, but many of the craft brewers grains go to farmers for animal feed. Some even turn around and use the local animals raised on the grain for their restaurants/tasting rooms. It is a pretty good eco system focused on sustainability.

  3. Local farmers use both Right Brain and Paw Paw's spent grains to feed cattle. People also often stop by Paw Paw to grab some spent grains to bake with.

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