Thursday, July 21, 2011

Conflux et Collaboration

When I was a kid, probably 7 or 8, my next door neighbors granddaughters and I set about making mud pies. We got some used margarine tubs, gathered dirt from all areas of the 5 or 6 house radius we were allowed and mixed it all up with some water. Mine and the younger granddaughter's mudpies turned a real dark brown with a heavy mud consistency as would be expected, but the other girl's mudpie was mixed perfectly and with all the precision a 7 year old girl could muster and it turned out to be the consistency of vigourously stirred ice cream and had a nice grey color. It was strange to me that the 3 of us could take the same ingredients and one would turn out much more appealing than the others.

When we had Gents last week and had all the Collaboration #2 we could drink I thought it was just overly muddled, no one thing really stood out and the flavors didn't seem to work out that great. Mind you, it was still a very good beer, but on a night where we had access to any beer we wanted, I found myself reaching for Two Jokers, Saison-Brett and others more than I craved more Collaboration #2.
Conflux and Collaboration on a Handy Manny computer

Tonight I got some of the Deschutes version of the same beer* what Deschutes calls Conflux #2. It was noticeably different. I had Stella pour Conflux #2 and Collaboration #2 in my Gents tasting glasses so I could try them blind. I had no issue whatsoever tasting a difference and easily identified the Deschutes version and the Boulevard version. Stella, for her part, tried each and poured herself a glass of the Deschutes. Conflux #2 was just crisper, a little more hop bite, a little more witbier type flavor, just more in general like the four points of a square as opposed to the no points in a circle.

It's not as if one beer is bad and one is good. Both are very good, just one is better. One is like the mudpie my friend made and the other is like the mudpie I made. It ends up being kind of amazing such a difference can arise from the same ingredients, but a difference does exist.

Conflux is not available in KC at this time and I've received no assurances it will be available when Deschutes comes to market. Collaboration #2 is available and can still be found around town, though it may take some looking.

*Disclosure: I was given both bottles by a party interested in selling more bottles of Boulevard. This did not affect my review, but you can be the judge of that.


  1. I was disappointed in the lack of "IPA" hop aroma and flavor, and predominan herbal-ness (especially lemongrass) of Collaboration No. 2. I think it would be suitably categorized as an herbal beer.

  2. There's about 4 cases of collaboration #2 at Marsh's gun fresh in westport. BYOGun.

  3. Surprising results, no. Surprising that you posted them... yeah. Good stuff!

  4. Anonymous 2, I'm not sure why you'd be surprised I would post an opinion about something.

  5. Had it on tap at The Riot Room. Quite good but agree with the comments.

  6. I've seen cases of the Blvd version around town, shouldn't take much looking