THE BEER INDUSTRY IS ACTUALLY A PRETTY SMALL PLACE...well...craft beer, that is. Not just in terms of market share, but the people - the "scene". The craft beer community is tight, as evidenced by the litany of collaborations that come out every month. Craft brewers are a relatively exclusive group, and because of the on-the-job nature of their training, you're likely to walk into a brewery and find a swath of familiar faces that likely cut their teeth warehousing, cellaring, brewing, etc, that now call your local brewery home. If that story sounds familiar, you may already know that Head Brewer at Second Chance Beer Co., Thomas Mercado, used to share the brew stand at Mother Earth, leaving the door open to return to the Vista production facility once more, except this time as a guest, to whip up a batch of Collab IPA on the Premier brewhouse he once called home. So how does a brew like this come to be? You might be thinking it's more romantic than it probably is. After a short voicemail to Thomas, and subsequent exchange of text messages, the deal was on!
Next, was the recipe development. Mother Earth Head Brewer, Bret Stitzman, explained the objective:
"Our goal was to create a blend of a New England-style Hazy and a modern West Coast IPA. Nowadays folks are looking to get the qualities of a traditional West Coast IPA, but without the bitterness, and also pull in some of the juicy qualities that Hazies offer. By using a Hazy yeast strain and lots of late addition hopping, cool-pooling, and cold side additions, we are able to drive the juiciness way up while keeping bitterness low. The result is a super clean, clear IPA. East meets West, I guess you could say. "
Collab day was the usual casual affair, with Second Chance Rolling out three-deep, to bring their brand of good vibes to the table for a truly epic day. While all collabs are fun to a degree, this one felt special. After all, it was Thomas' first time back in the brewhouse since leaving mid-pandemic, and brewing a new beer together was sort of the perfect way to celebrate a return to gathering as beer brethren after a long hiatus. Second Chance Owner and founder, Marty Mendiola was also in attendance, bringing a calm humor and loads of experience to the table. At one point, we looked up and even saw Thomas and his assistant brewer operating the brewhouse on their own. It was a sight that would normally result in heart palpitations, but in this case spoke to the legitimate collaborative nature of the brew.
"It's rare that you have a visiting brewery that has intimate knowledge of your system and is able to actually take the helm for a time, and physically collaborate during the brewing process, as opposed to just giving input on the recipe development. "
-Chris Baker - Director of Brewing Ops, Mother Earth Brew Co.
The beer itself turned out to be a real gem. It glows a bright golden hue and the delicate hop aroma is followed up by massive hop flavors from the front of the palate to the back. The mid-palate in particular is really full of flavor and does a great job of reminding you that despite it's modest IBU count, it is very much an IPA. The grain bill was intentionally designed to be minimal, containing almost entirely base-malt, which allows loads of hop character to come through, and with almost all of it being added post-boil, the beers bitterness is appropriately subdued.
Mother Earth X Second Chance Collab IPA is only available on draft and can be found using our Beer Finder or at one of these SoCal retailers:
Cannonball Mission Beach
Sunshine Company Saloon OB
Bottlecraft Liberty Station
Chapter 1 Santa Ana
Safehaus Moreno Valley
Whole Foods Oxnard
Hoppy Daze Chula Vista
Barrel Republic Carlsbad
Beach Hut Deli La Mesa
Regal Beagle SD
Board & Brew Costa Mesa
Coal Bunker Fallbrook
Amplified Aleworks PB & East Village
Public House 131 Poway
This list will be updated weekly as the beer makes its way out into market.