Even some of the best beers and best-loved beers are pretty straightforward. This one isn’t. I mean, it’s not straightforward. Its level of belovedness remains to be seen since it’s new. Bee Gee IPA is described as a hybrid IPA created by Burke-Gilman Brewing in collaboration with Watts Brewing. The beer’s name? Presumably, Burke-Gilman Brewing’s initials are B.G. and Watts Brewing’s brand is a nod to the Watts’ family bee business, which has supplied bees to farmers for over 50 years. Bee Gee IPA.
It’s an uncommon collab beer. A brewery in Bothell and a brewery in Seattle. No big deal there, but it uses malt grown in the Skagit Valley and malt grown in Scottland. The hops come from Yakima and from New Zealand. Even the yeast is some kind of hybrid, variant, or something like that. The brewers went out of their way to make this one unique and interesting.
Evan Watts, the owner/brewer at Watts Brewing, tells the story of the collaboration and the beer.
“We’ve been friends with the crew at Burke-Gilman since we met them at their very first festival, the Winter Beer Festival in December 2018. They had asked us to Come on Over and brew a beer together, and we finally both had time to make it happen in March 2020 when … the viral droplets hit the fan. Now we’re almost 2 Years On, both breweries have won a few awards, and thankfully both businesses are still Stayin’ Alive so we have another chance to brew together.”
“We’re excited to finally share Bee Gee IPA with you.”
“Brewers Phil Pesheck (also known as the 2020 Alpha King!), Julia Davis, and Evan Watts put their heads together to create a new breed of IPA. The core of this beer is the thiol yeast Phil has been experimenting with in his hazy IPAs. Based on an English ale yeast popular in New England-style IPAs, Berkeley Yeast Labs bred this yeast to contain Carbon-Sulfur Lyase, an enzyme that frees thiols such as 3-Mercaptohexan-1-ol (3MH) and 4-methyl-4-mercaptopentan-2-one (4MMP) from their precursors found in the hops. Besides having unpronounceable names, these thiols create a tropical aroma reminiscent of grapefruit, passionfruit, and guava. And it tastes really good! While this yeast is beginning to see use in hazies, Evan of course suggested we bring it to a more West Coast-style IPA.”
“This recipe uses a blend of the thiol yeast and the classic Chico yeast, while the hops and malt follow the hybrid approach. The grist is primarily a blend of Skagit Valley Pilot pale ale malt and Thomas Fawcett Golden Promise, with a delicate sprinkling of biscuit and light crystal malts, and a touch of flaked oats for a creamy finish. These malts form a light, crisp background for the hops to take center stage.”
“An early addition of whole-cone Cascade hops provides the precursors necessary to produce the thiols, then Nelson Sauvin and Waimea—both exciting new varieties from New Zealand—drop the hammer with pineapple, tangerine, and white grape. Add in the passionfruit and guava released by the yeast, and you have a beautiful tropical mélange with a crisp west-coast finish.”
You can find the beer on tap now at the Burke-Gilman taproom and at the following locations:
A1 Hop Shop 104th
A1 Hop Shop 144th
Flatstick Pub (SLU)
The Local 104
Maize & Barley
The Pizza Coop & Ale House