We’ve all seen the green Guinness that floods barrooms (and bathrooms) each year on St. Patrick’s Day. But it turns out craft brewers don’t need artificial coloring to infuse their beers with vibrant hues.
In the final episode of “That’s Odd, Let’s Drink It,” host Sam Calagione sets off for Brooklyn to help brothers Emil and Sandy Corsillo of the Hill-side—who recently received GQ’s coveted Best New Menswear Designers of the Year honors—develop a special beverage for the opening of their flagship store in Williamsburg. Inspired by the colorful, square-bottom ties that helped launch the Hill-side’s first full collection, they set out to merge the process of making clothes and making beer by deploying edible, all-natural dyes that can be used in both fabric and liquid.
In order to let the Hill-side’s color palette pop in the beverage, they need to develop a brew that can serve as a blank canvas for the chosen ingredients: carrot and blueberry. They also need a style that can ferment quickly to be ready for the opening, so they enlist the services of Other Half—NYC’s most exciting young brewery—to keep the beer local.
The result of the grand experiment is one base beer—a saison made with oat malt, rice syrup, and Brettanomyces—that’s split into two batches and dosed during fermentation with pureed carrots and blueberries. Both are unveiled at the grand opening of the Hill-side shop, where the fashion- and beer-loving guests decide which reigns supreme.