Our No. 1 priority was to choose the beer that we felt best represented us and what we think our audience might like to drink. As a visual aid, Soper laid out ingredients of each of the beers as a signifier for what they might taste like. We did not sample the finished product, rather the Mother’s beer that most resembled what our collaboration would become.
The idea behind the stout was to defy conventions. Soper laid out Askinosie chocolate—again, local!—tangerines and chocolate-covered candy oranges. To simulate the closest thing to what the finished product could be, we tried Mother’s GB’s Original Dry.
The stout was tasty and very drinkable—something that was important to us given the collab’s summer release. But we were wary of a stout in the summertime. At one point, a staffer remarked to Soper that he’s a seasonal beer drinker: dark in the winter and light in the summer. He acknowledged that and assured us most people are the same. That certainly weighed on us in the decision-making process.
We turned our attention to the New England IPA. IPAs can be polarizing, but they are far and away the most prominent style of craft beer, and we were excited to see what Mother’s had in mind. There are nuances from one IPA to the next; Soper pitched us a beer style that has a hazy, almost pulpy texture and is versatile in its consistencies. In a sense, IPAs are a blank canvas for experimentation and creativity, which is exactly what we hoped our beer would demonstrate.
IPA as a style is sometimes framed as a pejorative. The New England style in particular has been the runt in craft beer circles. But now, Soper says, the style is one of the biggest trends in 2018.
For our purposes, Soper set out passion fruit concentrate, vanilla bean and coconut—the same ingredients they have included in our collaboration. He had us taste Mother’s Sunshine Chugsuckle, which had a flavor profile that most resembled what our beer tastes like.