Creekside Beer is excited to announce the release of a brand new crushable IPA named “Creekside Crush”, brewed in collaboration with 11th Hour Brewing in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh. This was our first experience brewing, and it was an eye-opening experience on “how the sausage is made”, to coin a phrase.
The process begins what some people might consider bright and early (i.e., Tyler), at 8:00 AM. Or more like 8:45 if you’re the victim of a hit-and-run in Lawrenceville on your way to the brewery (also Tyler).
The brewing begins with mashing, where bag after bag of grain is dumped into a tank, combined with water, and then rapidly heated to approximately 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Hayden, the Assistant Brewer and Bar Manager at 11th Hour, kindly dumbed it down for us by saying “we’re essentially making a s#%tload of oatmeal”. That “oatmeal”, which is a byproduct of the mashing process, is called wort, and is basically sugar water with a heavier consistency.
After the wort reaches the desired temperature, it is separated from the spent grain using a process called lautering. This spent grain can be repurposed in a litany of ways. For example, 11th Hour gives it to a farmer who feeds his cattle with it; or, it can be used to make tasty dog treats like Calvin’s Cookies does, or CBD-infused dog nibbles, like Roxy’s Remedy. After the lautering, has been completed, the mixture is boiled for a little over an hour, during which the hops are added. In the case of Creekside Crush, Tyler added bags of Simcoe, Kohatu, Mosaic, and Idaho-7 hops. Then, the liquid is transferred to a fermenter, and the waiting game begins, while the liquid ferments, and develops its distinct taste profile.
In the case of Creekside Crush, the brewing process occurred on May 3, and it wasn’t ready for canning and kegging until June 8.
One thing that you don’t realize about brewing until you experience it yourself is that there’s a lot of down time involved! For example, after the wort was made, Adam Miller (responsible for business development and partner management at 11th Hour) and Tyler walked down the street to grab some Espresso a Mano coffee for the gang. Tyler is definitely not a morning person, so an extra extra large coffee was very much needed after an 8 am start time! Then, while waiting for various stages of the process to finish, Tyler was treated to a variety of beers, including:
a then unreleased 11th Hour New Cult IPA
a can of Stick City’s Syncro Session IPA
a Czech Pils that Justin (one of 11th Hour’s brewers) brought back from Gemut Biergarten in Cleveland
a few sours from Hudson Valley Brewing in New York,
and Tyler’s personal favorite, a bottle of 11th Hour’s Dream Cannon in Peach Brandy Barrels. They’d been aging some bottles in their walk-in cooler since it was released in the Fall of 2018 – and he said was delicious!
The entire brewing process wrapped up around 4 o’clock, with Tyler surreptitiously tagging a Creekside Beer sticker on their fridge on the way out the door.
Fast forward to today, and the team at Creekside Beer got the chance to sample this collaborative effort with 11th Hour Brewing. Outstanding!! Creekside Crush was double dry-hopped with Simcoe, Kohatu, Mosaic, and Idaho-7, resulting in a smooth, sessionable IPA with notes of candied peach, orange peel, mango, and pineapple. This is the perfect crusher for sunny days, at 5.5% ABV. Don’t take our word for it though – sample some for yourself, and see if you agree.
We can’t say thank you enough to Matt McMahon, 11th Hour’s owner & head brewer, Adam Miller, Justin Strzelcyzk, and Hayden Greenlief for the invitation to collaborate, and working with us to brew this outstanding beer, to Keana McMahon for the Creekside Crush logo, and the entire team down there for such a warm and gracious welcome – and their partnership with their products. We’re absolutely thrilled with how Creekside Crush turned out and we hope you all like it too!