Iron Hill / Unibroue Collaboration Tonight

If you’re somebody who still needs convincing that the craft beer community takes exceedingly seriously its professed commitment to community, go to Iron Hill Maple Shade tonight to witness it in full effect. Despite its existence as a brew pub — an entity that almost always pours its own beers exclusively — Iron Hill’s head brewer, Chris LaPierre, is graciously turning over three of his draught lines to another brewer from 6-8 P.M.

Jerry Vietz, master brewer at Canadian mega-powerhouse Unibroue, drove to Jersey last night to spend today at Iron Hill. He spent the morning with LaPierre, brewing his first-ever collaboration (something beer nerds get very excited about) and tonight will pour his own beers–Maudite, Raftman, and Cassis for you beer nerds in question–for LaPierre’s customers.

The collaboration came about thanks to Unibroue sales rep Bernard Johnson, who worked with LaPierre at Dock Street eons ago and proposed the idea to both willing parties earlier this year. They made a Christmas beer that will be released at a dinner at Iron Hill after the holidays and will be available only at the brew pub. (This distinction will earn Iron Hill a lifetime of bragging rights and a possibly unrivaled crush of happily astounded brew-geek business.)

Unibroue is one of the most award-winning breweries in North America, and anyone who’s been to an event hosted by Johnson knows that he’s incredibly generous with hard-to-get malty treats. Vietz, says Johnson, is bringing even rarer beer snacks not otherwise available in the U.S. Some business owners or managers would feel threatened by this. But not LaPierre or the Iron Hill brass. In the beer world, agreeing to brew with someone is among the highest forms of flattery, and it’s with pride and humility that they welcome their fellow brewer from the north.

That’s a community we want to be part of.

Iron Hill Brewery [Official website]

Iron Hill/Unibroue Collaboration [Event details]