Fresh off celebrating their 2nd Anniversary last weekend, Hackettstown, NJ's Czig Meister Brewing Company looks to be gearing up to release a series of collaborations with microbrewery 2nd Act Beer based in Dover, NJ. On May 23rd, both breweries began posting on social media about a collaboration, but offered little additional detail. On Monday, Czig Meister received approval from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) for 3 new can labels for variants of United We Brew.
According to can art, United We Brew is a Kolsch-style ale brewed in collaboration between Czig Meister and 2nd Act. United We Brew will come in three variants - Blueberry, Strawberry and Coconut. Each variant registers at 4.8% ABV, and will be packaged in 12 oz cans.
The label art appears to be a bit of a departure for Czig Meister releases because the artist is Dan Kazan who markets himself as an artist producing "thought provoking artwork dancing with dangerous and blissful themes draped in vibrant splashes of color." Dan has worked with 2nd Act professionally as their graphic artist and was assigned to this project "to add a unique artistic flare to this special July 4th release." According to Kazan, "the team chose my unique style to accompany this exciting variety red white and blue pack to stand out on the shelves and add to the craft beer/art infusion with can designs. We had so much fun collaborating and bouncing ideas around. I really used my standard approach to provide some America inspired funky flare with some Easter eggs in the design (Librewty Bell and Declaration To Brew). I came up with the series name "United We Brew" as I felt it was perfect for two american breweries teaming up and creating something truly original. You'll see in the designs I used a bald eagle, writing the declaration and the liberty Bell as they are easily identifiable American culture images and have relation to the holiday. I wanted concepts everyone knows while adding my funky humor creating people with the fruits used in the beers. It gives the buyer a clear idea of what the beer tastes like while sticking closely to the holiday."
When we reached out to Czig regarding United We Brew, they provided a full background of how this beer came to be:
"We're both into traditional styles, with each of us offering a Kolsch. We thought it'd be cool to create a Kolsch recipe somewhat combining our two recipes, then fruiting it. When we took a look at a calendar for when we could make this happen, a release around the 4th of July stood out so we decided to embrace it. We split the batch into three and took a red, white, and blue approach... hence the strawberry, coconut, and blueberry additions. Again keeping in line with the 4th of July theme, the artist from 2nd Act (Danny Kazan) created characters for each flavor to reflect historical events and imagery with a twist. The artwork is definitely more in line with 2nd Act's 'look' than our own, but we like having something funky out there!
When we followed up on distribution plans, Czig informed us that "canning will take place next Friday, June 22nd. We'll be putting together mixed 6-packs with 2 of each flavor, giving the red white and blue effect with packaging." On June 20th, Czig announced via Facebook that variety six packs would be. available in the tasting room beginning on Friday, and in retail stores starting next week.
As Dan Kazan told us, "Clean/readable can designs+kick-ass funky flare=Untied We Brew: America Style!"
Update: The article was updated at 10:37pm on 6/20 to reflect comments from Dan Kazan and mention of Czig Meister's Facebook post.