Last year, Reason Beer brewer Mark Fulton embarked upon an unusual project: brew a tribute to his hometown. Fulton grew up in Charlottesville, and after moving away and brewing at Maine Beer Company, he returned home in 2016 to launch a brewery with two childhood Charlottesville friends. Like many of us, Fulton loves the Charlottesville community, and the skilled brewer wanted to express that love the best way he knows how – with beer.
To emphasize the community nature of the project, Reason included local collaborators, including this website, The Charlottesville 29. In fact, Reason even named the beer for the site: Collaboration 29. Why The Charlottesville 29? Reason co-founder Jeff Raileanu explains the tie:
“First is the positivity and enthusiasm that The Charlottesville 29 brings to the local scene. No need for negative reviews or putting anyone down – there’s so much great stuff happening around Charlottesville that deserves to be celebrated, and that’s the focus. And the local focus is important to us too. All three of the business partners grew up in Charlottesville and it’s always been a special place to us. We couldn’t imagine being located anywhere else, and love being surrounded by some many great local producers. From the sustainably-raised meats and fruits and vegetables at the farmers market to an excellent maltster right here in town (fellow collaborator Murphy & Rude), there’s no need to go any farther afield. We also appreciate how The Charlottesville 29 tells a story. It’s not just a ‘best of’ list, it tells stories of the local scene, from farm to table, with fascinating looks into all of the passionate people who make it happen.”
Indeed, the label for Collaboration 29 reads:
There’s a good reason we chose Charlottesville as the home for our brewery. We all grew up around here, and if you ask us, it’s just about the greatest little city in the world. This beer is a juicy, tropical love letter to our home town, brewed in partnership with The Charlottesville 29 and Murphy & Rude Malting Co.
Upon its release last May, Collaboration 29 was an instant hit, and not just for sentimentality. Beer drinkers loved it. First, a keg of Collaboration 29 was served at the Governor’s Executive Mansion. Then, it was named Best Hoppy Beer at a beer competition, winning blind tastings against giants like Bell’s, Stone, Ballast Point, Founder’s, and Sierra Nevada.
Now, Collaboration 29 is back (and available in cans!). Wednesday May 15, from 6-8 pm, is the release party at Beer Run, where Collaboration 29 will be on the tasting table, along with Reason’s Hoppy Blonde, Prismism, and Inexorable. All of those plus Reason’s Saison will also be on tap.
Thank you, Reason, for including The Charlottesville 29 in this special project, and for celebrating Charlottesville in such a delicious way.