Side Project Brewing, Angry Orchard collaboration, Burk, debuts this weekend

Longtime friends Side Project Brewing co-owner-brewer Cory King and Angry Orchard head cider maker Ryan Burk recently put their heads together and came up with a new beer offering: Burk, a sour beer that utilizes East Coast crab apples.

“We’ve always had a lot of respect for each other’s work, and have been looking for an opportunity to work together,” said the namesake Burk. “We have similar philosophies on fermentation and respect for the materials we use.”

King said the crab apples were used twice in the brewing and aging process. “We made an Oud Bruin-inspired beer, a sour brown, that we fermented on and aged with crab apples from Walden, New York, from [Angry Orchard’s] orchards,” King said. King and Burk aged the beer just over a year in a pinot noir barrel. “It’s cool because it has this really tangy astringency on the back side."

Burk said it’s the first time in his tenure at Angry Orchard that he’s collaborated with a brewer. “It’s pretty uncommon to cross genres,” he said. “It’s like Herbie Hancock collaborating with Led Zeppelin.”

Burk and King will be at Side Project Brewing in Maplewood on Saturday, March 17, from noon to 3 p.m. to introduce their project to the public. Bottles will be available for purchase exclusively at Side Project Brewing and Side Project Cellar. Burk will also pour one of his other recent creations, Edu, a wild-fermented still cider inspired by Spanish ciders.

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine.