Collaboration is commonplace in the craft beer world, but it's not often you find two brewers, especially those separated by hundreds of miles, teaming up for charity. But that is what San Antonio's Busted Sandal Brewing Company and Colorado-based Left Hand Brewing Company have done.
The two brewers worked to create On Your Left Hefe based on a hefeweizen recipe from Busted Sandal that's infused with hops and ginger root brought in by Left Hand. Busted Sandal will tap the new beer on Saturday, September 3, during a fundraiser benefiting the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society.
The collaboration was birthed from a mutual love for cycling among employees and friends of the two breweries.
According to Busted Sandal's Roland Tamez, a few employees there have bicycled to raise funds for research and treatment of MS. And Left Hand Brewing formed the Team Left Hand organization in 2008 with a goal of raising "enough money to make MS stand for 'mystery solved'," said Sara Barfoot, national team coordinator.
Team Left Hand supports several MS chapter rides nationwide and has raised nearly $2 million total for the National MS Society. In October, Busted Sandal will ride with Team Left Hand for the Bike MS: Valero Ride to the River 2016, Team Left Hand's first time to participate.
Barfoot said partnering with Busted Sandal to create a beer to further raise funds in fighting MS was a natural fit. "The cycling team and craft beer communities parallel in many ways," she added. "We're a much bigger brewery than Busted Sandal, but we love crossover and promotion."
The name, On Your Left Hefe, symbolizes a cyclist using his/her left hand to signal a turn or a stop.
Left Hand sent brewer Henry "Hank" Myers to San Antonio to mix ingredients from a Left Hand seasonal, Good Juju, with Busted Sandal's hefeweizen recipe. Barfoot said it was a positive experience in that the two breweries could learn from each other and create something "reflecting the cultures of both breweries."
Tamez agreed. "We've had a great relationship with Left Hand. They kind of compare themselves to us when they started out." (Left Hand, which launched in the mid-1990s, is the nation's 39th largest craft brewery.)
Tamez said he and his colleagues are happy to make a product to help charity. "We're all doing something for the greater good. The beer was secondary," he added.
Admission to Saturday's event includes four 12-ounce pours; a collector pint glass; and food donated by BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse, Two Step Restaurant and Cantina, Highlander Bar and Grill, and Kiolbassa Provision Co.
Busted Sandal's staff will also tap three casks of rare beers, which will be among the pour options for customers, along with On Your Left Hefe and six standard Busted Sandal brews. There also will be live music and a raffle at the family- and dog-friendly brewery/taproom.
Pre-sale tickets are $30; admission is $35 at the door; all proceeds go to the National MS Society.