If you asked The Kevins (that’s co-owners Kevin “Smitty” Smith and Kevin Quinn) what the worst part of the past year was, the answer would likely have something to do with the lack of in-person collabs. Particularly, the ones they get to travel to amazing locations to work on. And this year’s virtual collab with Australian brewery Balter was a tough one to not do in person – leaving the rainy winter in the PNW for a sunny summertime visit to Queensland sounds pretty ideal right about now.
But virtually collab we did, because we’ll never let something silly like a pandemic get in the way of our favorite pastime: brewing up a tasty collab with some of our favorite industry buds. Scroll on down for a Q&A with Smitty on this year’s Balter collab – and, if you happen to be in Australia (you lucky duck), be sure to head to Balter HQ to grab a pint.
How did you start your relationship with Balter in Australia?
We met Scotty Hargraves from Balter up here in Yakima a few years back and always stayed in touch. In 2019, Scotty and the Balter team hosted Quinn and myself down in Currumbin for a few days and a brew. We’ve all felt like family ever since!
How many collabs have you done total?
Oh goodness, I think this might be our 4th collab with Balter. One thing I do know is that this will not be the last collab we do with them.
How’s your collab looking in 2021? What kind of a beer are you working on?
We are just making a nice, approachable dry hopped pale ale featuring eight of Yakima Chief’s best hop varieties including Simcoe, Citra, and Ekuanot.
What do you miss most about traveling to Australia for an in person-collab vs this virtual one?
Well, the company and beer at Balter are hard to beat, so I am definitely missing that. But if you have ever been to the east coast of Australia, you know that we are also missing an amazingly beautiful place. It doesn’t get much better than brewing some beer in the morning and hanging by the beach in the afternoon. Then going and wasting a couple of days at Byron Bay. That is definitely a perk of this job!
Posted March 18, 2021