MCKINLEYVILLE, CA — They say two heads are better than one, and that is especially true when you are talking about beer. Mad River Brewing Company and Six Rivers Brewery have released a collaborative specialty ale to commemorate Mad River’s 22nd anniversary. The limited-production brew is available on draught at both breweries.
Wee Heavy Ale is fondly named for each of the brewery’s head brewers: Dylan Schatz of Mad River Brewing Company and Carlos Sanchez of Six Rivers Brewery, who together top out at over 600 pounds. The name may be playful, but the beer is for serious connoisseurs who appreciate a full-bodied, malty Scotch Ale.
“Wee Heavy is a style of beer similar to the Scotch Ale, yet stronger. It is dark amber in color and just over eight percent alcohol. This brew goes great with smoked salmon, oysters and cured meats. Try it with haggis for a genuine Scottish delight,” said Sanchez.
Sanchez said he and Schatz came up with the idea of collaborating on a beer at the Craft Brewers Conference in San Francisco where a few other collaboration beers were served.
While this first-time collaboration might come as a surprise to some, it is what these breweries are accomplishing outside of Humboldt County that is also worth noting. Both breweries are medal winners of the Great American Beer Festival, the industry’s gold standard beer competition. Mad River Brewing Company even took home the top awards of Small Brewery and Brewer of the Year in 2010.
Six Rivers Brewery has created a splash in a different way. Their involvement with last year’s Los Angeles Fashion Week opened a lot of doors. The brewery regularly receives invitations to high-profile events such as celebrity parties and product launches. Six River’s Bluff Creek Ale was served in celebrity suite at last week’s Emmys.
Six Rivers Brewery has also been noticed by the national media. Everyday with Rachel Ray magazine featured Six Rivers Brewery’s Chili Pepper Ale as a top recommendation in their October issue. Last week, Six Rivers Brewery’s beers debuted on the television show, Excused, and will be a part of the reality dating show all season.
“Over the last year Talia (Nachshon) and I have focused our energies on expanding our brand awareness and increasing statewide distribution. We have also added beers, like the Raspberry Lambic, to our bottling lineup. The response has been incredible,” said Meredith Ripley, co-owner of Six Rivers Brewery with Nachshon.
Six Rivers Brewery is located in McKinleyville. Sixriversbrewery.com. (707) 839-7580. Mad River Brewing Company is in Blue Lake. Madriverbrewing.com. (707) 668-4151.