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The Common Thread Brew is a yearly special event for the Wisconsin Brewers Guild. Each year a brewery plays host to the state’s brewers on a single brew day to come together and execute a beer dreamed up by the brewers. The proceeds from the beer, released for Craft Beer Week, are donated to the Wisconsin Brewers Guild. It doesn’t raise a whole lot of money each year, but it certainly serves a higher purpose of gathering the brewers for some excellent comradery and idea sharing. This year Karben4 was asked to be the host and we are honored and excited to carry the torch for the 2018 Common Thread.

When asked to play host I started to consider what this beer represents to understand what it should be. My conclusion was that it represented a snapshot of the current state of craft brewing in Wisconsin. We certainly have a strong German brewing tradition, and many of the excellent beers you see in the state from small startup brewpubs to established breweries reflect that. A visitor will also see that those same breweries are capable of executing beers that are experimental and trendy. I am not sure what craft beer aficionados from other states hold as a general impression of Wisconsin craft brewing, but if the Common Thread is an opportunity to publish a liquid editorial on the topic then I am happy to help.

At an initial meeting with some of participating brewers we considered many great beer styles and ideas. I then shared my thoughts summarized in the preceding paragraph, and suggested building a bridge between traditional Wisconsin beers and something experimental, and made a proposal that was adopted by the group. My idea was for a mashup between a pilsner-esque lager and an American pale ale with tropical hops. The result is an APL (American Pale Lager). You may have heard of IPLs before, and this would match up to it the same way an APA and IPA are related. The more experimental portion is the use of a new Cryo Hops lupulin powder hop product made by YCH Hops (Yakima Chief – Hopunion), where they have a proprietary cryogenic process of separating the lupulin powder of the hops (where all the flavor and aroma comes from). We are going to use Mosaic and Ekuanot hops, so imagine a super clean malt profile from the lager softly supported by pillowy clouds of tropical fruity hops- the best of both worlds.

Briess Malt & Ingredients is donating their Synergy Select Pilsn malt. YCH Hops (Yakima Chief – Hopunion) donated the Ekuanot Cryo Hops. We thank them both for their generosity and support of the Wisconsin Brewers Guild. The brew day is Sunday, March 18. Look for the release to occur during Craft Beer Week. Karben4 will be hosting the release party. You should see the beer on tap at in your local brewery taprooms and other excellent retail establishments. Keep your eyes peeled for more details- you are not going to want to miss this beer!

Ryan Koga



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