Ol’ Man River. The Big Muddy. The Gathering of Water. The Joiner of Breweries.
The Mississippi River cuts a meandering line down the center of the United States, connecting not only northern Minnesota’s Lake Itasca to the Gulf of Mexico, but also Minneapolis’ Fulton Brewing with New Orleans’ NOLA Brewing. So it only makes sense that a collaboration beer between the two breweries would take its inspiration from the river that helps define the cities they call home.
“Like most good things it came about over a few beers,” says Derek Lintern, NOLA Brewing’s VP of brewery operations. The guys at Fulton visited NOLA in May and the two teams got to talking about how both of their breweries are located along the river—Fulton is less than a mile, NOLA is a literal stone’s throw.
“We wanted to do something that was representative of the Mississippi,” Lintern says, “so we decided to do two beers—one that’s clean and one that’s a little murky.” The two versions are meant to mirror the change in the river from Minnesota to Louisiana.
Thus, Messipi Amber Saison was born (the name is an old French transcription of the Anishinaabe word for the river, misi-ziibi, which means “Great River”). Two versions of the amber saison will be released: the “clean” version, which will be fermented with standard brewer’s yeast, and the “murky” version, which will be barrel aged and fermented with NOLA’s “dirty dozen” Brettanomyces concoction—12 different strains of Brett, according to Fulton Sales Representative Ben Flattum.
Since neither brewery distributes in the other’s state, representatives from Fulton and NOLA traveled to Minneapolis and New Orleans to brew the two versions of Messipi at each brewery. By doing so, Fulton and NOLA will be able to release both beers in their respective markets.
Both breweries plan to release the beers in 750ml bottles and a limited number of kegs. Fulton’s will land in late 2015 and NOLA has yet to set a timeline for their release.