Guinness & Co., based in Norwalk CT, and Two Roads Brewing Company, based in Stratford CT, today announce two small batch beers brewed in collaboration and to be released May 24th. The US version called "May the Road Rise" will be tapped at 3 p.m. only in Two Roads' tap room.
The first collaboration will be brewed at the Open Gate Brewery, St James’s Gate in Dublin, Ireland, and will be served to visitors of the Open Gate Brewery taproom. The second beer will be brewed shortly afterwards at Two Roads Brewing Co.’s brewery in Connecticut and will be served to visitors at the brewery.
“Tom [Day, President of Diageo Beer Company USA] and I were chatting in our tap room late last year when the idea came up,” comments Two Roads CEO, Brad Hittle. “Our offices are 20 miles apart in our home state of Connecticut, so our paths have crossed a few times. Several of the Guinness guys have been in, and our brewers are big fans of Guinness. It made perfect sense to do this.”
“Two Roads is the nearest independent brewery to my house,” said Tom Day. “And they brew fantastic, very high quality beers, as their recent GABF Gold Medal clearly demonstrates. I was in the brewery to try some of their new beers, and Brad kindly offered to show me around. We got to talking and the idea of a collaboration beer – which we believe is the first in Guinness history – seemed like an obvious one.”
“Two Roads doesn’t collaborate often, and prefers efforts that both cement friendships and also provide shared learning,” continued Brad Hittle. “And it’s something of a privilege to be the first brewery to have collaborated with Guinness, a name synonymous with beer quality. We’re very excited to see how the beers turn out.”
The beers will be variations on a theme. Phil Markowski, Two Roads Brewmaster and author of Farmhouse Ales: Culture And Craftsmanship In The Belgian Tradition, was interested to discover that there has never been a Belgian-style beer brewed in the 258 year history of the Guinness brewery.
“I have tried Guinness Antwerpen Stout, a beer Guinness first brewed for the Belgian market in the 1940s, which got me thinking about the idea of a Guinness and Two Roads beer in the Belgian tradition,” Markowski said. “I met with Michael Donnelly and Peter Simpson, who run the Open Gate Brewery in Dublin, and we figured out a way forward. We’ll be making beers that are distinctly Two Roads, distinctly Guinness, and with some classic Belgian farmhouse characteristics. And, of course, a few interesting twists.”
“We have no experience of brewing collaborations to date,” said Peter Simpson, Head Brewer at the Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Dublin. “But Phil Markowski’s brewing philosophy is very similar to ours: balance and great flavor are key, leading to beer which can be enjoyed by all.”
Mark Sandys, Global Head of Beer for Diageo, who is based at St James’s Gate, commented: “I’m very excited to try the fruits of this historic collaboration. Both breweries are well known for high quality, flavorful beer, and Phil Markowski and Peter Simpson, the head brewer at our experimental brewery, are creative and highly skilled brewers. These two beers will be produced in small quantities, but I think they represent a landmark for both companies.”
Guinness™ and Two Roads to Collaborate