Meeting of the Minds #3: Violet Semantics w/ Crooked Stave

Just over six years ago I was working at Crooked Stave in Denver and we were witnessing a renaissance in wild/sour beer in the United States. To see how craft beer has evolved in that short period of time is amazing. It’s important to recognize that Crooked Stave was one of the first to take on the wild/sour brewery model and laid the groundwork for many breweries that exist today. As we push toward eight thousand breweries in the US, it has been fun to watch Crooked Stave evolve and put out “clean” beers that are in line with today’s beer market.

Crooked Stave is special to me for many reasons. It was my first experience working at a small business and in many ways it showed me the amount of effort it would take to open and operate Alma Mader. At Crooked Stave I also came to the realization that I wanted to be on the production side (i.e. brewing/cellar) of beer. Crooked Stave’s founder/owner, Chad Yakobson, encouraged me to go after my Master’s of Science in Brewing & Distilling at Heriot-Watt University and I am beyond grateful for that. Lastly, like many folks experience in the industry you gain some of your greatest friends and supporters along the way.

Back in April we invited Chad to come to Kansas City and brew a beer with us. Throughout the brainstorming process we kept coming back to one of Crooked Stave's earliest beers called Wild Wild Brett Violet. It was the last beer of the Wild Wild Brett series, which emulated ingredients from every color in the rainbow (ROYGBIV). It was such a polarizing beer that we started to think about how we could recreate aspects of the beer in a fashion that is relevant to today’s beer scene, which we have deemed Violet Semantics.

What we came up with is a hazy IPA with passionfruit. Our grain bill consists of white wheat, golden naked oats, and Simpson’s Golden Promise which is a heritage pale Scottish malt (and homage to our brewing education at Heriot-Watt University in Scotland). For hops we utilized Simcoe and Ekuanot in the whirlpool, as well as the dry hop. Lastly, we added passionfruit to layer in another unique element to the beer.

We’re pleased with the multi-dimensional flavors/aromas and can’t wait to share it with you on Wednesday, June 19th!


Nick Mader