Earlier this year, Lagunitas sponsored a homebrew contest for homebrew clubs in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. The winning home brewer, Peter Skold, was flown out to the Lagunitas Brewery in Petaluma, CA to brew the special winning beer selected specifically for the Metro-area market.
Skold was accompanied by Dan Herman (who was randomly selected from a pool of contestants), and retailers Jeffrey Hoadley from Pizza Luce (St. Paul) and the one-and-only Mr. Pat Dwyer of Grumpy’s NE. Pizza Luce and Grumpy’s are among the top 10 retailer accounts in MN for Lagunitas.
The team worked with Lagunitas Head Brewer Jeremy Marshall to formulate a final recipe for “Fusion 15,” which now becomes the 15th beer in “Fusion” series history. “Fusion 15” was described as an “India Black Ale” to The Growler by Lagunitas Brewery Rep Sean McHugh. McHugh told us the beer gets its dark color from Midnight wheat grain and, in conjunction with torrified wheat, its creamy mouthfeel. When asked about which hops were used, Sean guessed Mosaic hops based on certain characteristic flavors he detected. He added that Lagunitas works directly with hop farmers (instead of buying all of their hops from brokers), so there is a chance that specialty hops – ones that don’t even have their own names yet – were used in “Fusion 15”. “Fusion 15” clocks in at 7.4% ABV.
The four contest winners also got to meet the legend, Tony Magee, Founder of Lagunitas (whose book, “So, You Want to Start a Brewery..?,” is now available at The Beer Dabbler Store and covers the story of Lagunitas Brewing Company from its inception in 1993).
To celebrate the culmination of this unique collaboration, Grumpy’s NE will host a Lagunitas “Fusion 15” release this Friday (9/2) starting at 4:20 PM (a Lagunitas party time tradition). The Happy Gnome will also release “Fusion 15” August 6th, followed by Pizza Luce – St. Paul on the 12th (conflicting events prevented Pizza Luce from releasing “Fusion 15” with Grumpy’s NE on the 2nd) .
Contact Grumpy’s NE, The Happy Gnome, and Pizza Luce – St. Paul for more information: