One of the newer breweries in town, Fort Point Beer Company in the Presidio, has teamed up with the Danish brewery Mikkeller to produce an experimental IPA. Lobos Double IPA, named for the creek in the Presidio where Font Point gets its water, combines five different types of hops (Columbus, Northern Brewer, Motueka, Centennial, and dry-hopped with Japan's Sorachi Ace) to create a beer that Fort Point head brewer Mike Schnebeck describes as grassy and piney with a little citrus and maybe some lemongrass. You can judge for yourself at its release party tonight (Tuesday, 6 p.m.) at Mikkeller Bar near Union Square.
"The whole point of this 'experimental IPA' was to make something that would make people think twice about what they're drinking," says Schnebeck. "[The beer is] kind of hard to describe, which is a good thing for me." He and Mikkeller brewer Thomas Schøn intentionally used an unusual assortment of hops to give the IPA a flavor profile far from the hop-bombs that most of us are used to in Northern California. The beer is also rounded out with about 35 percent wheat to cut some of the bitterness.
This isn't the first collaboration for either brewery. Mikkeller released a beer with Drakes Brewing Company last week and has made a smoky pilsner for Mission Chinese Food. Fort Point currently makes a Kölsch-style ale for April Bloomfield's Tosca restaurant, and earlier in the year teamed up with German brewer Freigeist to make a manzanita-smoked malt beer.
Schnebeck says that collaboration helps the brewery grow and keeps him interested in the brewing game. "It's good insight to see someone else's approach, how it compares to yours," he says. "It's easy to get kind of complacent, sit around. It's important to grow and keep doing cool stuff, otherwise, what's the point?"
Tonight's event will feature the Lobos collaboration, as well as three others from Fort Point: Villager IPA, Park Hoppy Wheat Ale, and KSA (Kölsch-style ale). The Fort Point Brewing guys will be there, and it's also Taco Tuesday at the restaurant ($3 tacos) if Mikkeller's excellent sausages aren't enough of a siren song.