Not too long ago, Holy City Brewing announced that it was brewing a collaboration beer with RJ Rockers in Spartanburg. No details were released at that time, but the South Carolina beer community responded with excitement over the idea. To my knowledge, it’s one of the first times that two operating breweries have worked together in South Carolina. And both being highly successful, the match seems like a good one.
So, how did the collaboration come about? It’s hard to believe, but Holy City has only been open since 2011. Around that time, the guys from both breweries met and struck up a friendship. Holy City actually bought their first keg washer from RJ Rockers. The communication lines have been open for a little while and the notion for collaboration came up. Ideas went back and forth over email and eventually, a decision was made about what to brew.
And what was that decision? The forthcoming beer will be an imperial red rye ale. It’ll probably be around 8.5-9.0% ABV, with 20% rye, and will be hopped with Warrior and Cascade. This will mark the first beer that RJ Rockers has ever done that has rye in it. In fact, that was a major selling point in trying to come up with ideas for the possible collaboration. Anyone who has ever brewed with rye knows that it can be a little tricky. Many times, you can end up with a stuck mash. Actually, that whole concern along with the interstate connecting the two breweries led to the name of this particular beer: Stuck on Rye 26. This will be a pretty small batch – only 15 bbls or so (465 gallons). So, be on the lookout in the next few months. You won’t want to miss out on this.
The breweries are also planning a future collaboration to be brewed at Holy City.