Old Forge, Rusty Rail team up for new brew

·3 min read

Jan. 23—DANVILLE — Two Valley breweries this past week collaborated to formulate and introduce a new beer.

Old Forge Brewing Company, located at 532 Mill St., Danville, and Rusty Rail Brewing Company, located at 5 N. 8th St., Mifflinburg, joined creative minds to brew the Honey Badger Lager. The brew, which was tapped this week, is only available on tap at both establishments.

"We want to do more collaborations," said Old Forge owner Damien Malfara. "We don't do it enough. It's worth it. You can see a different perspective in brewing. There's a good amount of art and creativity in it. It forces you to get out of your comfort zone and bounce ideas off other experienced brewers."

Guy McCarty, the brewery director at Rusty Rail, said collaborations are something they have wanted to do.

"With Rusty Rail being around for seven years now, it's exciting for us to be in the local beer community and do collaborations," said McCarty. "It's cool and flattering to do it with brewers that we've looked up like Old Forge."

The beer was brewed with local Rustic Pale malt and toasted malt from Double Eagle Malt in Huntingdon Valley and honey from Aucker's Apiary in Millville. It is unfiltered, lagered traditionally, and carbonated naturally, said Malfara.

"It's traditionally brewed in the perspective that we used German lager yeast but untraditional with the honey," he said.

"It's got a little toasty malt flavor with a slight sweetness. It definitely has a clean flavor, the mouthfeel is perfect. You can tell it's been lagered. It's really drinkable."

McCarty said he loves the beer.

"It was great to go over there and work on their system," he said. "It was a cool experience, and I'm excited about how the beer turned out."

This is the second collaboration between Old Forge and Rusty Rail. Over the summer, they brewed a smoked lager named "While Odin Sleeps," using a Norwegian yeast called Kveik.

The first lager was brewed at Rusty Rail while the second was brewed at Old Forge.

From a social aspect, brewing with other brewers is a "fun day" where you can talk about the craft with other professionals.

Five barrels at 31 gallons each were brewed for the Honey Badger. Malfara expects that to last about a month.

The reaction to both has been positive, said Malfara.

"People love it," he said.

Chase Nichols, a customer of Old Forge from Danville, said the Honey Badget starts off sweet upfront and balances out.

"It's really smooth for being 7 percent alcohol," he said. "It's smooth, it's clean, I like it."

Nichols said he encourages more breweries to collaborate.

"The more overlap, the better," he said. "People sharing ideas keep it local."

Old Forge has collaboration with Marley's Brewery & Grille in Bloomsburg, Turkey Hill Brewery Company in Bloomsburg and Collusion Tap Works in York.

In being open for 13 years, Malfara said they have been collaborating for at least five years.