Brewers collaborate to make limited edition beer

Josh Brames stirs German pilsner malt and German white wheat with a wooden boat paddle while Jerod Agler and Lincoln Napier wait their turns at Chapman’s Brewing Company Thursday morning at Chapman’s while Casey Dazey and Jeremie Brames, at right, clear away the malt and wheat bags. PHOTO BY AMY OBERLIN

Chapman’s head brewer Jerod Agler, left, and LaOtto Brewing Company head brewer Josh Brames take turns stirring water-soaked malt and grain for a small batch of saison beer.

Casey Dazey, right, pours wheat into a hopper, where it is ground for use in a limited edition beer made Thursday at Chapman’s Brewing Company in Angola while Lincoln Napier looks on. PHOTO BY AMY OBERLIN

Chapman’s head brewer Jerod Agler, right, and LaOtto Brewing Company head brewer Josh Brames work on a small batch of saison beer Thursday at Chapman’s in Angola. PHOTO BY AMY OBERLIN

Lincoln Napier of LaOtto Brewing Company, left, Chapman’s Brewing Company assistant brewer Casey Dazey, Chapman’s founder Scott Fergusson and head brewer Jerod Agler, LaOtto head brewer Josh Brames and assistant brewer Jeremie Brames collaborated Thursday on a limited edition saison, which will be released at the end of the month.

By Amy Oberlin

ANGOLA — A Pleasant Lake native who brews beer in LaOtto joined forces with a Noble County resident who makes beer in Angola.

On March 1, Jerod Agler of Chapman’s Brewing Co. and Josh Brames of LaOtto Brewing Co. brewed a farmhouse-style saison at Chapman’s, 200 Industrial Drive, Angola. The two got to know each other through the local craft beer scene. Through a strange twist, Brames finds himself in Noble County and Agler commutes to Steuben County.

The two spent March 1 creating beer together for the first time.

“It’s a way to highlight what I do well and what he does well,” said Agler.

“Two great minds can make a better product than one great mind,” said Brames.

About 650 gallons of the beer, not yet named, will be available at the end of the month.

“This beer is not going to be a traditional saison,” said Agler. Due to a late hop addition, which enhances the juicy notes of the blend, it will have tendencies of a New England style India pale ale.

The release of the limited edition brew will coincide with Electrification Day, celebrated in Wabash — the first electrically lighted city in the world on March 31, 1880. It will coincide with the one-year anniversary of Chapman’s Wabash Tap Room. The party will also feature guests from Mad Anthony Brewing Company and Bad Dad Brewery in Fairmount.

The hope is to get some of the special brew to all Chapman’s locations as well as LaOtto Brewing Co., 202 S. Main St., LaOtto. The total batch should be around 34 kegs, which multiplies to around 4,080 pints, said Brames.

The collaboration shows cooperation between Indiana’s small brewers. It’s not just about beer, said Agler and Brames, it’s about community.

“Together we are stronger,” said Agler.

Chapman’s started as a Trine University project headed by then-professor and Chapman’s CEO Scott Fergusson in 2012. It now has four locations with more growth expected this year, said Fergusson. Agler is head brewer, assisted by Casey Dazey.

LaOtto Brewing Co. opened in 2015, a family owned business that includes microbiologist and Brames’ significant other Lynne Koepper. Brames is head brewer, assisted by his cousin Jeremie Brames and keg jockey Lincoln Napier.

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