Collaboration--Sketchbook & Against The Grain (by Cesar Marron)

 Jerry Gnagy and I enjoying the high life!

Jerry Gnagy and I enjoying the high life!

Once upon a time I took my family on Spring Break (2018) to Louisville.  Here's the back-story behind  Sketchbook's first out-of-state collaboration. 

WHO:  Sketchbook is excited to announce a collaboration with Against the Grain Brewing, in Louisville. I first met Jerry Gnagy, owner of ATG, at the Extreme Beer Fest 2017, at the wittiest booth in the whole event. If you don't know ATG, look at their beer names on their website. They are hilarious.  

WHY: At the Fest, we had a few beers, Jerry's got a crush on Brazil, he came to visit Sketchbook later in 2017 and we came up with a plan to brew and send a container full of craft beer to Brazil.  That... did not happen...yet  :). However, we thought, hey, let's collab on a beer. That's something we both can control, right?

Turns out Sketchbook and Against the Grain have a lot in common. We both brew lots of different styles and have grown to fit unusual brewing spaces (compare ATG's vertical rise and Sketchbook's tiny ex-car park space). FYI, ATG is the first brewer-owned brewpub in Louisville. 

WHERE: Louisville, Kentucky!  A great town that's proud of their beer scene and super happy with their great water (from the Ohio River). We also toured Monnik and Falls City, and ran into a couple of Evanston friends. Unfortunately we did not make it to the Bock Fest. But oh, we will be back.

WHAT: A Hazy Rye IPA.  Of course. But none of the short-cut hazification products will be used. This was brewed the hard way to get you folks the haziest, spicy rye IPA we can.  I came up with the recipe and Against the Grain named it Ales of Ryebaldry (inspired by the SNL hysterical recurring bit back in the 80's called Tales of Ribaldry). 

WHEN: My family and I drove down to Louisville for spring break.  We had a blast in Louisville, where the craft beer scene is going nuts.  We ate, drank, brewed, met some great folks, and groomed the kids in advanced marketing techniques. 

OK, BUT WHAT ABOUT THE BEER? The Against the Grain folks are working to bring Ales of Ryebaldry to the Chicago area. We're hoping to have news to share about that soon--maybe even a Chicago Craft Beer event!

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At work with the Against the Grain team. 

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6 year-old Gabi was in charge of branding.  Her choices were impeccable. 

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Against the Grain is the tallest set-up I've seen. Here I am with 9 year-old Anasofia in ATG's great Tap Room, while behind me are two more stories of fermentors and brewhouse!

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Remember when I said ATG was tall! The staff ran up and down these ladders--very impressive! 

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Time out for gymnastics--as we checked out what Louisville had to offer

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We ran into Falls City taproom grand opening--a business reinventing one of the city's classic breweries. Here I am with Amy Wilkinson and Brian, Falls City Marketing Manager. 

Cesar Marron