Nope that's not some new super-group featuring Powermad guitarist, Todd Haug, pictured above. OK, yes that's Haug front and center, but this brootal crew is actually a confab of brewers and an artist who have come together to create a brand new beer called BLAKKR. From left to right we have Michael Berglund, Surly artist-in-residence; Erik Ogershok, head brewer at Real Ale Brewing; Haug, head brewer of Surly Brewing; and Barnaby Struve, vice president of Three Floyds Brewing. And surrounding them are many, many cans of their new collaboration brew, BLAKKR. BLAKKR (an old Norse word for "dark" or "black") is a hefty imperial black ale that has been brewed at all three breweries, and will be distributed in all three breweries' home markets. Real Ale’s version will be available in four-packs of 12 oz. cans as of mid-March (see below), Three Floyds has packaged it in bombers which are available now, and Surly will be releasing BLAKKR in 16 oz. cans on February 24 (also see below). There will also be a limited release on draft for bars and restaurants in the respective markets.
And how did this unholy collaboration happen? "We felt compelled to learn about each other’s brewery processes, drink beer, listen to metal and brew the most metal beer ever," Haug says. He goes on to describe BLAKKR as being, "black as the sky on a moonless night, [with] flavors of black licorice and bitter, sweet hops with strong hop aromas of pineapple." This brew weighs in at 9.99% ABV and is bolstered by an 85 IBU hop backbone.
Minneapolis artist Michael Berglund took care of the label design which was inspired by Medieval engravings of monsters and chimeras. "The idea came from having to please three metal brewers—a three headed beast," Berglund says. The symbols at the top are from Medieval alchemy, and are, in order from left to right: water, alcohol, eternal darkness, fermentation, fire, flavor, pint, grain, trinity, boil, union (collab), carbon dioxide, metal and wizard. Which just about covers the basics of both brewing and metal.
Twin Cities residents can help launch the brew this Monday, Feb. 24, when Surly hosts its BLAKKR release party at Grumpy’s Downtown Minneapolis, starting at 6 pm. BLAKKR will be on tap—in addition to other Surly specials on tap—and there will be a lineup of metal bands playing (TBA).
Real Ale is doing a release party for BLAKKR on March 15, during SXSW in Austin, Texas. The party will be held at a local brewpub called ABGB from 12-6, and there will be six bands (including Haug's and Ogershok's). The lineup is as follows:
12:20- Giant of the Mountain 1:20- Canyon of the Skull (featuring Ogershok) 2:20- Widower 3:20- Vulgaari (featuring Haug) 4:20- Lions of Tsavo 5:20- Krigsgrav