Local Beer Masters Collaborate , Create " Barley Pop ' 22 "
What ’ s better than rolling with your crew ? Strength in numbers . You need it for putting together a solid film , and you need it when you want to put together a great beer . So , in honor of the Poppy Jasper International Film Festival ( PJIFF ), which showcased the South County ’ s prowess in film , the five existing South County breweries teamed up to make a collaboration beer that was released in conjunction with PJIFF .
The five South County breweries include Morgan Hill ’ s Kelly Brewing Company ; Gilroy ’ s Promised Land Brewing Company and Settle Down Beer ( co-owned by yours truly ); San Juan Bautista ’ s Brewery Twenty Five ; and Hollister ’ s Mad Pursuit Brewing Company . All of us met up at Kelly Brewing on March 21 to kick off the collaboration in the lead up to the film festival , which ran from April 6 through April 13 . Kelly Brewing wrote the recipe for this year ’ s collaboration – with a plan to rotate the brewery that leads in creating the recipe . Kelly ’ s head brewer Aiden Long and brewery owner Ross Kelly led the group on the March 21 brew session . by Giovanni Albanese , photos by Settle Down Beer
The beer , according to Kelly , was inspired by his brewery ’ s Kelly Light Beer , but Long elevated it to a hoppy golden ale called Barley Pop ’ 22 Hoppy Golden Ale . The beer was concocted with Admiral Maltings , Kelly ’ s house yeast and Cluster and Cascade hops from Hollister Hopyard .
“ I thought it would be really great to take a spin on our popular Golden Ale and try out one of these light , hoppy styles with our house yeast ,” Long explained . “ This sort of style is something I feel totally fits with the festival atmosphere but also brings a fresh twist to a light beer .”
After the March 21 kick-off event , which was gallantly arranged by Fran Fitzharris , co-owner of Brewery Twenty Five , we put our hands together and cheered , “ One . Two . Three . Break !” and went our separate ways to go brew up our own versions of Barley Pop ’ 22 hoppy golden ale . It resulted in the essence of South County and the PJIFF .
“ It is very custom and is a collaborative effort from different minds and regions , which is not unlike what the festival is ,” Kelly said .
“ Ross and Aiden were going at it and we were there cheering them on ,” Promised Land owner Eric Ingram said . “ It was fun .”
Settle Down co-owner Robert Anderson mirrored Ingram ’ s sentiment .
“ It was great being able to work with these other breweries and to discuss different brewing methods and business strategies ,” Anderson said . “ We had a great time meeting and getting to know some really cool people on both a business and personal level .”
PJIFF is a mission-driven all-volunteer non-profit , focusing on diverse , inclusive , and women empowering films , including seven educational programs . If you haven ’ t had a chance to experience it , be sure to do so in 2023 . The beer is just an added perk .
The beer was revealed the day the festival kicked off , April 6 , and was available to the masses , which included an influx of film aficionados in the region . Then on April 9 , Mad Pursuit held a tap takeover-style event with all five versions of Barley Pop ’ 22 on tap . ( Shameless self plug : Jump on Instagram and check out the video we made in the lead up to the event . It
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