If you’re too shy to say “I love you” to the bartender, you might miss out on an upcoming beer from 2 Crows Brewing Co.
“One of the people in the tasting room suggested that,” 2 Crows brewer Jeremy Taylor says of the beer’s name.
One of the key ingredients in I Love You is lemon verbena—a plant sometimes used for tea. Taylor had one of the plants at his place when he lived in his hometown of Vancouver. “I really liked the smell and taste of it,” he says.
Taylor called up Phil Holmans of World Tea House to help him source some lemon verbena, and Holmans has also been giving the 2 Crows crew a hand with the taste tests.
“Collaborating with them is really cool, 'cause it gets me out of my element,” says Holmans, who has teamed up with other craft brewers such as Spindrift and Boxing Rock. People sometimes will hire Holmans on a consulting basis simply “for my taste buds,” he explains. “Some teas aren’t easy to get those flavour notes and flavour profiles from, so you really have to work at it and train your palette, which I’ve been doing for a very long time.”
“I’m OK with beer flavours and what hops and what grains to use and stuff, but Phil knows tea so much more than I ever could,” says Taylor.
The beer label is also a bit of a throwback to Taylor’s time in Vancouver. The graffiti-style text that reads “I love you” is an homage to tags he would see painted around the city (possibly part of the I Love You World Graffiti Project).
“My wife—the first time she told me she loved me was actually just reading that off the side of a building,” says Taylor, laughing. “So, it’s sort of a personal connection for me and her as well.”
I Love You is expected to be available on tap and in cans starting November 4.