Sober Island Brewing owner Rebecca Atkinson connected with Sean Sears of ShipBuilders through a Mashup Lab program, and Atkinson says Sears has since become a mentor of sorts. Now, they’re finally launching a product together.
“I think we were just looking for a blend that suited, I guess, our liking,” says Atkinson. “You don’t really know what you’re gonna get when you put together an oyster stout and a cider. I mean, oyster stout in itself is a pretty unique product and they all vary incredibly.”
The beer-cider hybrid is called Core and Keel, a combination of Shipbuilders’ cider and Sober Island’s oyster stout. The stout is accurate named, as it actually requires oysters as an ingredient—whole, fresh oysters are added during the last 10 minutes of the boil. Using that particular beer was Sears’ idea.
“I was just really interested in collaborating with them for a unique product and, I mean, it doesn’t really get more unique than that with our beer,” says Atkinson.
She notes that the blend “resembles more of a wine product than it would beer or cider,” so it will appeal to wine drinkers as much as beer aficionados.
“It was sort of rugged in the flavour but really velvety in the mouth feel, and with that light cider bubble it was very effervescent in the end.”
Core and Keel will be available at the launch party at Battery Park Beer Bar on Saturday.