Brewmaster’s Updates

2010 Collaborative Evil…

(Truckee, CA) – JULY 19, 2010 – For several years, a group of brewers have been brewing unique, distinctive beers in an experiment of sorts that aims to demonstrate the diversity in brewing styles, techniques, and ingredients.
Todd Ashman of FiftyFifty Brewing Company, Truckee, CA initially created the Collaborative Evil group with industry friends Zac Triemert, Co-President and Co-Founder of Lucky Bucket Brewing Company, La Vista, NE and Matt Van Wyk, head brewer for Oakshire Brewing Company, Eugene, OR. This group did not collaborate in the way other groups have worked together in the past. They simply agreed upon a specific beer style and each would incorporate their own unique ingredient or technique in their respective brews. No parameters or recipes were set and the results were interesting, diverse, and delicious. The beers were then entered into the Great American Beer Festival, the most prestigious beer competition in the country. The goal was to earn medals of course, but also to give festival goers a glimpse into how each brewer has his own style and interpretations in the world of beers.
Over the years, the group has grown to include a total of eight brewers from across the nation. Unique ingredients or techniques have included exotic sugars, a variety of honeys, and wood aging. At the GABF, the response has been positive from judges and festival-goers alike, there has even been a Bronze medal awarded to one of these entries. An enthusiastic crowd has been seeking out each brewers Collaborative Evil brew and appears to be quite fun for those who set out on the search.
This year, the brewers have agreed to create an Imperial or Baltic Porter. This style is characterized by big rich malt and roast character (or not in the case of Baltic) and higher alcohol content than other styles of Porter. This year’s style will lend itself to complex beers with rich chocolate and coffee notes, and of course, a little bit of evil. In addition, this year’s attendees of the Great American Beer Festival can receive a Collaborative Evil map listing the participating breweries, their booth locations, and the unique ingredient/technique used. The emphasis for the brewers and the GABF attendees is simple…it’s meant to be fun. If you’re headed to the GABF, seek us out. We’ll have temporary tattoos and a map of the festival floor to find all of the breweries.
Brewers/ Breweries involved:

  • Todd Ashman- FiftyFifty Brewing Co., Truckee, CA
  • Zac Triment- Lucky Bucket Brewing Co., La Vista, NE
  • Matt Van Wyk- Oakshire Brewing Co., Eugene, OR
  • Brandon Wright- Silver Peak Restaurant and Brewery, Reno, NV
  • Bryan Shimkos- Flossmoor Station Brewing Co., Flossmoor, IL
  • Roger Davis- Triple Rock Brewery, Berkeley, CA
  • Matt Cole- Fatheads Brewery and Saloon, Cleveland, OH
  • Jack Kephart- Brew Kettle Production Works, Strongsville,OH

Oregons Brewers Festival 2009

Yes! FiftyFifty Brewing will be pouring Manifesto Pale Ale at this years edition of the Oregon Brewers Festival. Held at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Downtown Portland, OR.

I always get excited about the OBF because it’s just the biggest festival on the year’s calendar.
With upwards of 70,000 people attending over the four day event our little brewery gets a lot of exposure…and that’s a good thing!!! Of course Portland is the epicenter of the Pacific Northwest brewing scene, so there is a lot of beer to be consumed. There is also a really good ‘foodie’ scene as well. It goes without saying that it’s scenically beautiful as well so I always look forward to heading up there for the event.

We’re sending Manifesto Pale Ale to ‘represent’ our flagship beer and ‘sort of’ show them how it’s done here in the mountains… Fun stuff!

If you want to hang out with me in Portland it’s July 23-26.



Belgian ‘duo’ on tap Saturday 3/7/09

Some of you have been waiting a while for the Tripel to come back and I’m happy to say that it is! Drunk Monk Abbey Dubbel is on as well. This brew is a bit different from the last Dubbel we brewed, and in my humble opinion…right on the money! Here is the ‘sell sheet’ for the Dubbel.

Our Abbey Dubbel makes it’s return well over a year since the last batch. The 2009 version is lighter in color appearing a clear brown with slight reddish hues, is stronger at about 9.8%ABV and has a wonderful clean but distinctively Belgian flavor profile.

Kin to the Trifecta Tripel the Abbey Dubbel is brewed to with Belgian yeasts, fermented at a higher temperature than our other house ales. The benefit of the warmer fermentation temperature is that is creates more yeast derived flavors. The best way to describe these flavors is by the rather spicy aromas and flavors contained in this beer. We used a rather unique sugar in this beer known as Panusta which comes from the Philippines. It is a combination of Cane and Palm sugar which has been slightly caramelized and then packaged for use. Though it’s contribution is not immediately apparent it’s flavor has melded into the overall flavor profile well. The flavors best to describe the beer are notes of chocolate, mild malt, hints of cinnamon candy, faint banana and alcohol warmth. This is a great beer for any grilled beef, pork and poultry. Also with pasta and fish. A great sipping beer as well.

What makes it a Dubbel… In the Monastic brewing traditions of Belgium the brothers of Trappist Abbeys brewed beers for themselves called Singels or simples, the Dubbels were brewed for customers outside the Abbey walls and Tripels were brewed for special occasions. Our Dubbel and Tripel are brewed to emulate those brewed by the Westmalle Abbey near Antwerp, Belgium.


Brewmaster Todd

Rockslide IPA…and Foggy Goggle

Dear IPA Fans-

Rumors have been flying about the IPA situation at the brewery recently. Kyle and I persevere to craft the ultimate IPA and sometimes it takes us to interesting places. Our latest endeavor the EXP IPA takes us to new heights and this brew is a really, really great IPA. Alas, it isn’t Rockslide is it…! A new batch of Rockslide is currently in the #2 slot in the brew schedule so it should be in the tank no later than 4/17/09. Ready for drinking about 14-15 days after that.

With the success of Landslide and the very positive response from the EXP IPA we’re exploring new (to us) hop products that can deliver a hop wallop of unprecedented measure! These beers of course will have to take a back seat to Rockslide and to quash any rumors of Rockslide’s demise as completely unfounded B.S. …

Foggy Goggle will be back in production soon too. New batches of Trifecta and Concentrated Evil also will be on the brewing agenda

More news from the brewery soon…


Brewmaster Todd

We’re getting distributed!!!

5/29/09- Truckee, CA

Another milestone for FiftyFifty Brewing occurs today at 2pm. The first kegs of Mainfesto Pale Ale are being picked up by our distributor NorCal Beverage of Loomis, CA. These kegs are headed to Tahoe City, CA. To a bar know as Jakes. It’s a great day to as I can’t think of a greater thing than being able to enjoy a FiftyFifty brew on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe!!!

Keep an eye out as we acquire more handles on the California side of the lake.



June notables and the GABF timeline….

We got word from the folks that run the California State Fair’s Commercial Craft Brewing Competition that FiftyFifty did pretty well. 1 Gold, 5 Silver’s and 2 Bronze’s. Two beers made 2nd in their categories Blonde #2 in Blonde Ale(which got a Gold…Yay!), Drunk Monk Abbey Dubbel in the Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Imperial Eclipse took 3rd in Smoke and Wood Aged beer and Manifesto Pale Ale got an Honorable Mention. Kyle and I are quite pleased with the results considering what we’re working with as well as the fact that 2 years running we’ve placed in very good company(much bigger breweries with long(er) histories).

Imperial Eclipse Stout should be available at Florians in Truckee now. They got the rest of the 2008 vintage. Look for the 2009 batch to be around in December.

We’re entered in the Great American Beer Festival again. We’ve got ten entries and we’re VERY happy with them and the fingers are crossed(no pressure!). As things lead up to the GABF I’ll try and be more prudent about posting here. With only two or three beers yet to be brewed it’s pretty tense in the brewhouse. Just gotta get the stuff bottled and shipped off to Denver. With just about two months before the beer makes it’s journey it always an anxious time for me…

As always thanks for your support of the pub it’s always nice to hear that someone reads this stuff so thanks for speaking up!



Collaborative Evil-2009

Collaborate: to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor.

Collaborative Evil returns…with more breweries and a bit of leeway. In 2008 three brewers decided to create a beer recipe and then brew it at their respective brewhouses. The beer a Strong Dark Belgian inspired Ale brewed with Honey, and spices. Each brew had a unique ingredient distinguishing it from the others. This effort was intended to get the beers to the Great American Beer Festival in Denver so that they could be served at the same time under one roof. Two of the three beers managed to get there and be served to the public, the third alas was there but not able to be judged or served at the time of the festival. The founding brewers Zac Triemert of Lucky Bucket Brewing Co. La Vista, NE, Matt Van Wyk of Flossmoor Station, Flossmoor, IL and Todd Ashman of FiftyFifty Brewing, Truckee, CA.

In 2009 we’ve brought in six more breweries. The base style for this year is a Belgian inspired Strong Pale. The larger group presented some interesting hurdles and this also proved to be what this collaboration is all about.

Working together but also working within the confines of each respective brewery. We have production breweries and brewpubs involved and some with tight schedules and others with lot’s of play in the brewing regimen. We asked each brewer to create a beer based on the style and then make it uniquely their own but within the parameters of the ‘Belgian inspired Strong Pale’. This was important because it demonstrates what people think of when you mention a style. Because one of the things we focus on in Collaborative Evil is entering the respective beers in the Great American Beer Festival. Entry guidelines forbid entering the same beer so creating a theme and then allowing each brewer participating in Collaborative Evil to spin-off their own beer based on our base style. Tough but not impossible and the interpretations are very spread out and will be fun for GABF attendees to seek out on the festival floor.

The new participants are: Valley Brewing, Stockton, CA. Steve Altimari, Brewmaster, Sacramento Brewing, Sacramento, CA. Peter Hoey, Brewmaster, Fatheads Brewery and Grill, Cleveland, OH, Matt Cole, Brewmaster, Flossmoor Station, Flossmoor, IL, Bryan Shimkos Brewmaster(New Brewmaster), Oakshire Brewing, Eugene, OR Matt Van Wyk Brewmaster, Silver Peak Brewing, Reno, NV Brandon Wright, Brewmaster, Speakeasy Brewing Co., San Francisco, CA. John Gillooly, Brewmaster.

Look for these beers on the festival floor at the 2009 GABF and at the breweries participating. Production breweries may have limited releases check with your favorite for more details…