We think it is truly amazing how well craft brewers get along. Instead of slugging it out like their bigger counterparts, they often join forces out of friendship, respect, and inspiration to create unique beers together.  


One prime example is Avery Brewing and Russian River Brewing's joint beer project.  After both breweries realized they had a beer named Salvation, they decided to blend their two Belgian style ales together rather than argue over who should relinquish the rights of the name Salvation. The end result was a beer named Collaboration Not Litigation, a big, bold, dark, complex, and delicious brew that has been brewed on and off since its inception in 2006. Usually collaboration beers are brewed just once, but this one was so popular, it stuck around.  We are expecting a fresh batch sometime in the near future.


One exciting collaboration on the horizon is Boulevard Brewing Co.'s and Deschutes Brewery's Collaboration, called Collaboration #2. Boulevard is one of the newest breweries to hit our shelves, and Deschutes is one of the premier breweries that is unfortunately not available in the Windy City. Together they have created a White IPA, not only a new beer, but an entirely new style. But rather than just blending an American IPA with a Belgian Wit, Boulevard managed to make the somewhat contradictory flavors of fruity Belgian yeast and big American hops compatible. This beer will begin hitting our shelves next week.


Stone Brewing Co. is a leader when it comes to teaming up with other breweries due to their line of collaboration brews that will soon be going on beer number 10.  Stone Brewing Co. congregated with Baird Brewery of Japan in crafting Japanese Green Tea IPA. This brew fuses the Japanese element of green tea with probably the most popular American style, the IPA. The collaboration is dry hopped with green tea, which lends an herbal and somewhat bitter element to the beer. The brew is 9.2% ABV to correlate with the magnitude of the recent Japanese earthquake and commemorate Japan in a positive way. Proceeds from Japanese Green Tea IPA will be used for tsunami relief for Japan. This beer should begin hitting our shelves very soon.  


Stone Brewing Co. also has collaboration in the pipeline with Tröegs Brewery, another world class brewery than unfortunately is not yet obtainable in the Chicago area.  But that won't stop their joint effort brew, Cherry Chocolate Stout, from hitting our shelves sometime in August.


We don't know about you, but the collaborations above are some of the most unique and interesting beer styles that we have ever heard of.  What is the best collaboration beer you have ever encountered?