Bad Tom Smith and Alexandria Brewing Company decided to get together to do something that this city is going to like – a lot.  They’re collaborating on a new beer called ‘Hazy River’ – a wonderfully hoppy, hazy, IPA for the masses of fans that the style has gained across the Cincinnati Area.

When I heard about the collaboration, I knew that I needed to sneak in on the brew day to learn a little bit more, and it was a fantastic decision!   The day was a showcase of the fun side of collaborating, and community that you’ll find in craft beer.  In addition to Andy Reynolds from Alexandria and Sean Smith and Matt Bradley from Bad Tom Smith, Andy Foltz (Bad Tom’s Brand Manager) and Anthony Stoeber from Brewer’s Buddy (check them out if you haven’t already!)

The beer will be part of Bad Tom Smith’s Trial By Jury series and available in the Bad Tom taproom this week – but that brings up the first thing that we need to talk about.

Trial By Jury?  What’s That?

This series from Bad Tom Smith is more than just a series of test batches, it’s a way for the brewery’s loyal fans to have input on what rolls on to the tap handles in the brewery.  As a new beer is experimented with via a small experimental batch, it’s immediately turned over.  It gets a handle in the taproom for us to go and order our pint.

Then the power passes on to us.  You get to vote on the beer.  Is it something that you dig, or something that you think the brewery needs to move past?  If a beer gets enough support from the taproom crowd, it will get sent over to the big system for a full batch!

Make sense?

Hazy River

The river separates Bad Tom Smith from the future location of Alexandria Brewing Company, but it also ties them together with this beer.  Hazy River is a NE Style IPA – which means a few different things to people depending on who you ask.  The style is characterized by a softer than usual mouthfeel, and a massive amount of late hopping, which brings forth the fruity and brighter flavors of hops than you get from the more common, bitter, sharp flavors in West Coast IPAs.

The more visible common characteristic of the NE IPA style is the hazy, murky appearance of the beer in your glass.  It’s no surprise then that the murky, hazy river that flows through this city inspired it’s name.

The beer clocks in around 7.4% ABV, and uses multiple additions (including three dry hops) of Citra, Simcoe, and Falconer’s Flight to hit the mark on both fruity hop flavors as well as that signature hazy appearance.

The Tapping Party

You’ll get your first chance to snag a pint of this hazy elixir when the brewery taps it this week.  The event is happening this coming Friday (August 4th at 6pm).  There will be folks from both Bad Tom Smith and Alexandria present to chat about the beer (and you can pester Andy about his progress with Alexandria all you want that day too).

You should probably make sure that all of your friends know about the event as well – after all, the horrible part of the Trial By Jury series is also the fun part – these beers don’t last long.  This is a really small batch of beer, so it’s going to go quick!  You can share the facebook event with all your friends to make sure that they all know that it’s going on!

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