Because of awesomeness, I got to ask SaltWater’s Head Brewer Dustin Jeffers a few things about the event that you might find interesting…
Florida Beer Blog – There are 20 different treatments for Mass Confusion. How did you get the idea for such an interesting event?
Dustin Jeffers – After our 1 year party went off with a big success, we knew we wanted to throw another party at the brewery. I believe it was our General Manager Cameron that came up with the idea for Mass Confusion. It started as just a beer release, that turned into releasing some aged versions of the beer, that turned into doing a few treatments, that turned into doing a whole lot of treatments. It escalated quickly.
Walk me through some of the basics for how you ended up making the treatments you made for the event.
Most of the treatments are just our style, lots of wood aging, different dry hops, blends, and spices. However I did do a few weirder beers that are meant to mimic something other than beer (margarita, mojito, painkiller, etc.) I decided to do these for the event to add another style to what we usually produce. We won’t be doing these all the time, but they are fun to do on occasions. Don’t Get Confused is a good base to go crazy on because it’s high in alcohol, but doesn’t have any overpowering flavors like a big Russian Imperial Stout or an IPA. This gave us more options on the treatment flavors.
Of the treatments, which was the hardest to create and why?
The one I am most nervous about is the margarita because of the salt. I want enough to come out but not overpower the beer. Plus our name is SaltWater, so we can’t screw up a beer with salt in it. The hardest part of the treatments was doing so many in such a little of time. Don’t Get Confused was ready right before our trip to (the Craft Brewers Conference) in Portland, so we did a lot right before the trip, and all this week. It was a lot of kegs in a little amount of time.
You have a good connection with non-beer businesses in the area, starting with Rhino Coffee and Doughnuts for Sea Rhino. This event also features waffles from Frosty Point. How do you approach these businesses to take part in a beer collaboration?
A lot of our connections are from Chris, Bo, and Pete (also at SaltWater Brewery). They are born and raised in the Delray/Boca area, so they grew up with or are familiar with a lot of other local businesses. We have done 2 Floating Flight Nights with Frosty Point already. At these events we take 4 of our beers in a flight and put 4 different flavors of ice cream in them that pair well. Frosty Point opened about the same time we did, and is owned/run by my girlfriend’s parents. Her mom and I have gotten to exchange war stories about opening a business. It is great because we get to celebrate/complain over ice cream and beer when we have a good or bad day.
Which of these are you most proud of?
The beer release I am most proud of is the Buffalo Trace Barreled Don’t Get Confused. This beer isn’t a 1-2 keg treatment like a lot of the beers for Saturday, but a batch of DGC that was aged in our Buffalo Trace barrel for about 3 months. This is the style I like the most, and I think it turned out great. The brewing area I like the most is the barrel aging and barrel blending. I am also looking forward to the batch 1 and batch 2 DGC. I’ve tried both and they still taste great. If your beer can hold for over a year, you know it was brewed well.
Do you have another event in mind for the future?
I think our next big event will be International Surf Day. Last year we threw a party with Surfrider Foundation. We brewed a South End batch and aged it on Seagrape Tree, and all proceeds of that beer went to Surfrider. We also had a big raffle and bands that night. We love doing events with our three charities, and the parties are always pretty good. It is great when your excuse for making a beer or drinking one is for charity. We also have a beach clean-up on May 9th with Surfrider, and a charity benefit for The Billfish Foundation on May 21st.
Hope to see you there!
Drink Florida Craft,