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Mountain Culture Collab 2022

If there was one thing we were itching to do ever since all of those silly lockdowns ended, it was catching up with pals who we hadn't seen in years—or in some cases, ever met face-to-face—and the good folk at Mountain Culture were slap bang at the top of our list. And if you're catching up with a team of brewing gurus, why not make a beer with them? Why not make two?! We chatted to one of the founders of Mountain Culture about all things beer, how this collab came to be, and the golden question... which of the collab brews he's been sipping on!

If there was one thing we were itching to do ever since all of those silly lockdowns ended, it was catching up with pals who we hadn't seen in years—or in some cases, ever met face-to-face—and the good folk at Mountain Culture were slap bang at the top of our list. And if you're catching up with a team of brewing gurus, why not make a beer with them? Why not make two?!

And so, The Hare and The Tortoise were born. The pair of beers really canned up everything we love about partnering with local breweries: the opportunity to create the kind of beers we love to drink; a chance to work with some of the best creative minds in the industry; and an excuse to celebrate it all over a beer or two in person.

We chatted to one of the founders of Mountain Culture about all things beer, how this collab came to be, and the golden question... which of the collab brews he's been sipping on!

Can you tell us a little about what got you into beer and a little background from before you ended up at Mountain Culture?

Absolutely! I got into beer out of necessity. I was working in mental health in the US for a government program in Asheville, North Carolina in my early twenties—Asheville just so happens to be one of the craft beer hot spots in the States, so I developed a love for good beer. Funding was coming to an end with my work in mental health, which left me out of a job… and coincidentally a lot of time on my hands to get into home brewing. A friend (Josh) and I became very competitive and started hosting blind tastings with friends and competing for the title of the best home brewer. With a lot of time on my hands I figured, why not get the upper hand? So I volunteered at a local brewery to get my competitive edge. Three years later I was their Head Brewer, and went on to work as Lead Brewer for Oskar Blues. I was working like a dog at a pretty early age and decided I was young and still had a lot of life to live, so came to Australia for an adventure. I found a job as the founding brewer at Modus Operandi, and the rest is history.

Can you remember the first beer you truly loved?

I started off loving dark beers and I wasn't the biggest fan of hoppy beers, I didn't have the tools to appreciate those kinds of flavours and thought it reminded me all a bit much of potpourri. But after moving into the brewing industry and getting a better understanding of the ingredients and processes, I started to appreciate the floral, full-flavoured style a little more. Ultimately, a switch just flicked in my head and I started to love hoppy, more interesting beers.

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How did The Hare & The Tortoise beer collab come about?

Blackhearts started ranging (and selling a lot of!) our beers during lockdowns. Our friendship blossomed over closed borders so we were stoked about the idea of finally sharing a beer together.

Wild card question: if the collaboration was a famous music duo who would it be?

Hall & Oates, because they make my dreams come true. The Hare would have to be Oates, as there are oats in the malt bill; and The Tortoise is Hall, because it's an indisputable classic.

What would you pair with The Hare & The Tortoise beers with?

I'd pair the hazy hoppy ale with a long walk on the beach—preferably a New Zealand beach. And the lager is best enjoyed at sunset. No explanation is needed for either of those, I assume.

Controversial question—which beer are you picking?

That's tough! They're both great for different moments (see above), but it's gotta be The Tortoise for me because that’s the one I’ve been drinking the most of, as it’s so different to all the other beers we brew.

And in case you were wondering, Josh is yet to concede defeat and crown DJ as the superior home brewer!

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