by joanne... Oct 8, 2018

A special collaboration beer is being released at this year’s Brews on the Bay festival, honoring the sacrifices of the Merchant Marines and celebrating the year-round hard work of the crew of the S.S. Jeremiah O’Brien, one of only two remaining World War II Liberty Ships, docked at Pier 45 in San Francisco and itself celebrating 75 years since launching during the second world war.

*** Just added – Watch this FB Video about the making of this Collaboration Beer ***

San Francisco craft brewers have an intimate relationship with the O’Brien. For 15 years now, the crew has welcomed aboard members of San Francisco Brewers Guild for a special and most unique craft beer celebration, an event that offers one the most stunning settings atop a WWII ship with a view of the entire SF bay and cityscape — the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, the vast bay and more — while sampling dozens of fresh and special release beers from 30 local, independent craft breweries.

Brews on the Bay is not only a unique and stunning festival, but an annual fundraiser for the O’Brien, and this year, for the first time, the Guild has produced a collaboration beer as an added offering, to both celebrate and honor the crew and those who’ve served in the Merchant Marines. 

Fittingly, brewer / owner Kevin Inglin from Ferment.Drink.Repeat was tapped to head up this collaboration. 

“As a retired Army Officer, I was thrilled to participate… to honor not just the crew of the O’Brien past and present, but really everyone who served on these types of Liberty ships during WWII,” says Inglin. 

“When pouring beers on the ship, it’s somewhat surreal to think of what it would have been like to be part of the crew of a ship that participated in the D-Day invasion at Normandy, or that steamed across the Pacific during the later stages of the war. I know making a beer is a small thing, but hopefully in doing so, we bring some visibility to the importance this ship and others like it played in securing an Allied victory.”

Also fittingly, the Guild chose a most sea-worthy brew to kick off what it hopes will be an annual tradition, a lime Gose-style beer, know for its subtle salt addition, and featuring lime citrus notes, thanks in part to luscious lime leaves provided by friends at La Cocina. 

“We decided to make a Gose because it’s a great style of beer for a day on the Bay — super crisp and refreshing. There’s a gentle salinity to this beer style that reminds you of the sea,” says Inglin. “We then added a lime component as a nod to the importance of citrus fruits in protecting crew members from scurvy on long voyages. The two are a perfect marriage for a style honoring the O’Brien.”

Affectionally called the SS Jere-Lime-A O’Brien, the brew will debut at Brews on the Bay this Saturday, October 13 (tickets available here). 

Thereafter, curious beer fans can try this honorary brew exclusively at Ferment.Drink.Repeat (2636 San Bruno Ave.). 

There will also be a variation available at newly launched Hop Oast Pub & Brewery, where brewer / owner Aron Deorsey is one of a small handful of brewers who can recall pouring at the inaugural Brews on the Bay in 2004, when just seven breweries poured.

“It’s been an honor to be affiliated for so many years with an historical landmark such as the O’Brien,” Deorsey says. “Every time I set foot on the O’Brien, I get a whiff of the salt air, hear the creaking of the ship and water splashing on the hull — it gives me goosebumps.” 

“Opening my own brewery has been a lifelong dream for me,” Deorsey continues. “I’m excited to unfurl a new banner with Hop Oast’s first participation in Brews on the Bay!”

Don’t miss this special day and this special brew. Join us for the 15th Brews on the Bay!