Denver – For the third time, Friction Labs and Wynkoop Brewing Company have joined forces to create a limited-edition beer. On Belay Hazy IPA is available starting at Wynkoop Brewery in downtown Denver and Phantom Canyon in Colorado Springs with proceeds helping to fund Friction Labs’ Diversity in Climbing events benefitting local underserved youth.
At first blush, the partnership seems unlikely, but the two companies and their leaders are well suited for this creative endeavor. Both Friction Labs and Wynkoop Brewing are local Denver companies that have gained fans around the country, and even the world, thanks to their commitment to quality and craft. Charles McManus, head brewer for Wynkoop Brewery, uses Friction Labs athletic chalk when he climbs and has even installed a mini climbing wall in the basement of Wynkoop Brewery, using bags of wheat and barley for cushions. “This isn’t just a fun idea from two innovative companies,” McManus asserts. “Beer actually benefits from the addition of Friction Labs’ chalk.”
“The reason that Colorado is such a great place to brew is because the water is naturally low in mineral base; it’s like a blank canvas that we can use to create any style. Many times we add different minerals, like chalk, in the brewing process and this time we’re doing it with Friction Labs chalk,” explained McManus. “Certain beers actually benefit from the addition of chalk and the superior quality of Friction Labs’ chalk will create a pillowy texture and accentuate the juicy mouthfeel.”
The chalk was added during the boil and helps during the fermentation process by contributing minerals that help with strong yeast metabolism which results in a cleaner and more vigorous fermentation because it buffers the beer’s pH levels. McManus used a mash of primarily Pale Ale malt and Malted Oats and then chose specific White Labs yeast for Hazy IPAs for fermentation, as well as five varieties of hops: Centennial, Mosaic, Sabro, El Dorado and Hallertau Blanc. Drinkers will notice a fresh, delightful flavor of tropical fruit and citrus and a bright hop aroma with a crisp finish that is light on the tongue yet full bodied due to the added carbonate.
“This is the third time that we’ve been lucky enough to work with the Wynkoop team on a custom brew,” said Keah Kalantari, Friction Labs co-founder. “We are both so precise with the development of our products and appreciate that, like athletic chalk, brewing beer can be both an art and a science. We’ve admired Wynkoop for many years and are so honored that Charles and his team believe in the quality of our chalk enough to put it in their beer.”
“Keah and I actually started talking about forming Friction Labs over beers. We were working together in the corporate world and would go for beers after work with grand plans of starting a company that would change our lives and do good along the way,” said Kevin Brown, co-founder and CEO of Friction Labs. “The fact that we get to continue to brainstorm over beer, including this one created with our product, thanks to Charlie, is just more than we could imagine. Plus, at the end, all the revenue will be used to help underserved kids in Denver learn about climbing.”
Proceeds from the sale of On Belay Hazy IPA, as well as donations from both companies, will benefit Friction Labs’ Diversity in Climbing program, launched in spring of 2021, to make climbing and fitness more accessible to underserved young people. Children from Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver and Denver Children’s Home will be invited to an exclusive, private afternoon at local gyms Denver Bouldering Club and Movement RiNO to learn about climbing with an invitation to return to the gym to practice their skills with day passes. The Friction Labs team plans to keep the momentum going and will hold similar events across the country every quarter. The goal will always be to bring climbing and fitness to youth without current access by partnering with local fitness facilities and civic organizations.
About Friction Labs
Since 2013, Friction Labs has produced products that are used and trusted by top athletes in all sports that require dependable, long-lasting grip. Stripped of all unnecessary fillers and responsibly refined in Denver, Colorado, Friction Labs’ high purity magnesium carbonate provides unrivaled moisture absorption in a single application and is great for all skin types.
About Wynkoop Brewing Company
Wynkoop is Colorado’s First Brewpub, home to tastemakers and rulebreakers, bushwhackers and envelope pushers. For almost three decades we’ve been brewing handcrafted beer in our modest basement brewery underneath Denver’s largest pool hall. Over the years our neighborhood has transformed, and Colorado’s craft beer industry has exploded. And Wynkoop is still here, serving cold beer to warm friends.
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