One of Ohio’s best-known breweries is teaming up with one of Columbus’ most popular breweries.
Great Lakes Brewing Company of Cleveland is collaborating with Wolf’s Ridge Brewing in Columbus to make Straight Shot, a 6.5% blood orange cascara saison.
“I think both breweries have the balance of classic-style brews to new, unique creative beers as well, so what we decided to brew is pretty unique,” said Scott Hetrick, Great Lakes sales manager for Columbus.
This isn’t just another brewery collaboration. This is the first time Great Lakes, the 20th largest craft brewery in the United States, has collaborated with a Columbus brewery.
“We didn’t want to do a collaboration beer to do a collaboration beer,” Hetrick said. “We wanted to create a partner in the long run.”
When it came to naming the beer, the breweries kept it simple. How do drivers get from Columbus to Cleveland?
“It’s a straight shot up I-71,” Hetrick said. “It has nothing to do with taking a shot of something.”
The idea for the collaboration has been brewing for more than two years.
“This year all the pieces came together,” Chris Davison, Wolf’s Ridge head brewer, said.
The beer was brewed at Wolf’s Ridge the week of April 15 and will be released on May 6. Most of the beer will be on tap at Wolf’s Ridge but some will be shipped to Great Lakes. The beer will also be available at stores, including Giant Eagle, Whole Foods and Weiland’s Market.
The collaboration called for a Norwegian farmhouse yeast, with fermentation at a toasty 96 degrees. The beer is expected to have a tart, citrusy taste.
“We’re excited to see what it does, we’re not 100% sure,” Davison said.
Wolf’s Ridge has done many collaborations over the years, but this one was different for Davison. He has been drinking Great Lakes for 16 years and used to go out of his way on trips to Cleveland to visit the brewery responsible for making Edmund Fitzgerald, Eliot Ness and Christmas Ale.
“This (collaboration) has a pretty big significance,” Davison said. “It’s very humbling.”