We at Meadist love collaboration. It fosters innovation and creative output that almost always benefits the end product. There have been many beers popping up that are results of joint efforts among craft brewers – but only lately has this crossed over into the commercial mead world. The creative minds behind B. Nektar Meadery and Cigar City Brewing have come together to make a unique braggot that is alike nothing else out there.
While Cigar City Brewery (CCB) of Tampa Florida and B. Nektar of Ferndale Michigan are separated by the entire height of the US, the VP of CCB, Justin Clark used to work for B. Nektar’s Florida distributer. He got the others at CCB hooked on B. Nektar’s unique meads. One day, out of the blue, they gave Brad Dahlhofer, the founder of B. Nektar a call looking to collaborate.
The collaboration took about two years to bear fruit (well… braggot) since those involved weren’t going to settle for anything short of amazing. They were’t about to make any old braggot; what both companies wanted was something completely unique that would bowl over beer drinkers and mead drinkers alike.
We bounced around a few concepts at first. Then Wayne at CCB found meadowfoam honey. He was really into it. We thought it would be awesome to try and make something that resembled a S’more since meadowfoam has a natural marshmallow taste/aroma. So obviously we needed a chocolaty beer. The toasted coconut was pretty much because we’re not content leaving a good thing alone. We wanted a gourmet S’More. – Dahlhofer
To make the an iconic campfire treat more authentic, they added a type of tea that is smoked over pine, giving the braggot a light smoky flavor. They are calling the collaborative brew “Camp Braggot.”
Camp Braggot is part of a series called “Ghost Stories.” B. Nektar has been putting out creative (and delicious) meads with equally unique names and labels such as Evil Genius, Zombie Killer, and necromangocon, so the Ghost Stories moniker seemed to fit perfectly.
Dahlhofer has collaborated with legendary mead maker Ken Schramm to make the renowned “heart of darkness” mead, now cigar city brewing and he says they’re not stopping there. He has several other collaborations in the works, but can’t give it away or he’d have to give up his first-born son. He did however mention his dream collaboration.
I’d like to brew with Ron Jeffries at Jolly Pumpkin. I’ve always looked up to what he does.
All this “cross-pollination” can only mean good things for commercial mead makers and drinkers alike. Horrible puns aside, I can’t wait to see and taste the unique brews that will be coming from collaborations like this one for years to come!
If you’ve tried Camp Braggot – drop a comment below and let me know what you thought of it.