Aviary Releases Collaboration Beers With Perennial and Against the Grain

By Sarah Freeman  |  July 31, 2014
Credit: Leigh Loftus

During most dinners, we're faced with a choice: Beer, wine or cocktail? Wouldn’t it be great, though, if that decision was easier, if say a beer and a cocktail were combined to make a tart and refreshing hybrid? That was the idea behind two new beer collaborations between cocktail lounge The Aviary and two different Midwestern breweries — take the flavor of a cocktail and capture it in a beer.

The first is with Perennial Artisan Ales as part of the brewery’s new "Dealer's Choice" series, which will work with bartenders at leading bars around the country to create beers with the flavor profiles of classic cocktails. The muse was The Last Word, a cocktail made with gin, green chartreuse, maraschino liquor and lime juice. Bartenders Charles Joly and Micah Melton were responsible for figuring out which ingredients, from Key limes to tart cherries, would allow the flavors of the cocktail to translate into the beer. The result is a tart ale with notes of mint and sight bitterness from wormwood.

Melton also traveled to Louisville to collaborate with Cleetus Friedman of Fountainhead at Against The Grain Brewery. Their beer takes inspiration from a grilled green bell pepper tincture used at The Office. The style is a classic gose (a salted and sour wheat beer) tricked out with red bell peppers and cilantro. The bold peppery flavor is mellowed out with calamansi limes. The beer, called There Gose the Neighborhood, is the third collaboration between the cocktail bar and brewery.

The Aviary is no stranger to collaboration beers — offering 17 different ones so far — and its small beer focuses on one-off brews. “We want to put just as much, if not more, thought into our beer than our cocktails,” Melton says. “It doesn’t matter if we sell one or 100, we want them to be unique.” Previous collaborations have been made with Evil Twin, Pipeworks and Westbrook in South Carolina. There Gose the Neighborhood will be released at The Aviary on Monday at a party with the team from Fountainhead that includes beer, cocktails and food for $50 starting at 8 PM. Last Word will be released later next month.