(Brief But Determining) Virtues of Collaboration

The world of craft beer has not only seen beards grow on young brewers, it has also seen craft brewers assert themselves against the industry’s heavyweights via a sense of camaraderie and many collaborations. This innovation, which may well be the concept of our time, is born of the fight between David the craftsman and Goliath the industrialist. And collaboration is surely one of the former’s most decisive weapons. Hic et nunc, cooperation is as important as competition.

The list of collaborative beers grows every day, and has even become truly impressive, often with a determining characteristic — temporary collaboration, which also makes experiments possible at reduced risk. It even seems to be part of the concept.

As an example, here is a really excellent beer whose parents are the Brasserie Thiriez (Esquelbecq, Department of the Nord, France), established in 1996 by David Thiriez, and the very-micro-brewery Le Singe Savant (in Lille, also in the Nord), launched in 2016 by Pierre Demont, Valentin Cavel, and Guillaume Libersat. (We’ve already crossed paths with Thiriez; see: “North Extra Star.”)

Produced in small quantities (2,000 liters or 4,400 pounds), this 5%-ABV wheat beer explores the use of glasswort (salicornia) in brewing, though that doesn’t mean that Scylla — for so it is called — is salty (except in terms of aroma). It’s even a slightly sweet beer, softly bitter, and finally very citrusy thanks to its dry-hopping with Lemon Drop hops. A very nice collaboration, one that everyone will not have the opportunity to taste, but that illustrates the concept.