GRL PWR Sour is not just another name for a beer: only women were involved in its creation.
It started with Portland apparel brand Wildfang—responsible, among many other things, for its instantly recognizable "Wild Feminist" shirts. Wildfang CEO Emma Mcilroy approached 10 Barrel to help "smash the patriarchy of the beer industry." Whitney Burnside, head brewer at 10 Barrel's Portland pub, and Tonya Cornett, head brewer in Bend, say they jumped at the chance to bring the idea to life. Burnside and the Wildfang team drove down to 10 Barrel's Bend facility for one day this spring, and knocked out the brewing in a day.
"We wanted to make a statement about women's empowerment," says Mcilroy in a press release. "Not only were the two amazing brewers behind this beer both women, but it's actually the first time they've ever brewed together, which is really cool."
The result: Brewed with fresh pineapple and mint from Aurora, Oregon, the GRL PWR Sour is a refreshing, hot-weather beer, clocking in at a sessionable 5.5 percent ABV.
“What I thought was really cool is that sours are not really my expertise," Burnside says. "Tonya knows them really well and has them 100 percent dialed in. With this flavor combination, it was fun to share experiences with what we’ve done in the past, and how we can make the flavors meld and what techniques work the best.”
“The most successful collaborations are the ones that stretch you a little bit," adds Cornett. "This wasn’t a flavor combination that I would necessarily have come up with. But it came out so good. I think that’s the whole point of collaboration, to learn and to grow as a brewer. We all fall in our ruts, where we’re doing what we know works. But there’s lots of different things that work."
After a launch party at Wildfang's West End retail store, the limited edition GRL PWR Sour will be available at 10 Barrel's Portland pub until it runs out. (Cornett says she's brewing another small batch to make sure there is enough.) Beyond that, Burnside and Cornett say they have another collaboration beer coming soon, sans Wildfang: a sour inspired by the gin, honey, and lemon cocktail, Bee's Knees.
Wildfang's GRL PWR Sour Launch Party
6–9 p.m. Thu, July 27, Wildfang West, 404 SW 10th Ave, FREE