ALBANY — The craft brewery community definitely creates a symbiotic brotherhood of brewers. This week a group of these “brothers” came together at Pretoria Fields Brewery to bring an idea to fruition.
The collaboration between Albany native, and now North Carolina master brewer at Nocturnal Brewing Co., David Grace, and North Carolina transplant and Pretoria Fields lead brewer Travis Slaughter, started when Grace came home for a visit, stopped in to see the Pretoria Fields operation and met kindred spirit Slaughter.
Fast forward three months, and the result is a North Carolina-inspired, old-style smoked lager brewing in one of Pretoria Fields’ 30 barrels.
The as yet unnamed brew will garner it’s unique flavor from smoking the malt in a combination of smoke from 90% hemp stalks, 10% hickory, a process the brew masters accomplished Thursday night with a smoker Grace brought with him from North Carolina. Something else he brought with him: his “right-hand man, dedicated brewer, hypeman and overall badass” Kai Amantiad.
Nocturnal Brewing Company is a small three-barrel brewery/restaurant in Hayesville, N.C., that celebrated its first anniversary in October. Like Pretoria Fields Brewery, Nocturnal sources its ingredients locally when possible and uses some raw material from Riverbend Malt House in Asheville, N.C.
The new collaborative beer will be ready for public consumption at both Nocturnal Brewing Co. and Pretoria Fields Brewery in late January or Early February. Note: This beer will not contain CBD.
“This is an amazing opportunity to be able to have a time and place to create this beer by using Pretoria Grown ingredients,” Grace said. “We are privileged.”
Added Slaughter: “It’s awesome to collaborate with like-minded people from my neck of the woods. It’s like a little slice of home for me and great to work with people who have the same love for the process as I do. “
Both brewers agreed that there is a lot of passion in the brewing industry, and they share the drive to always brew better beer and learn something new every day.