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The Story of Works of Love: Russian River/The Lost Abbey

Since 2013, Works of Love has served as our collaborative realm, within which we share our space with friends and peers. Each of these instances has served as an intuitive, inspirational gathering of creative energies, a singular opportunity where each participant may bring to bear their own unique voice with a unified projection of optimism, craft, and creativity.

This most recent entry in our collection spans not only the four years from commencement to arrival but harkens much further in the past!

Shaun’s connection with Tomme and Vinnie as brewers, and Natalie as an unheralded industry pioneer, reaches back to his formative 20s:

“I sent them résumés and applied for jobs at both of their breweries.”

While he would ultimately walk other paths, the connections remained, and the work of both breweries served as guideposts in the growing American craft beer world. Touchstones like Blind Pig, Pliny the Elder, the SPF Saison series, Veritas, Hop 15, Supplication, Temptation, Deviation, Isabelle Proximus, Beatification, Red Poppy, Angel’s Share… each one a formative and groundbreaking entry in the beer canon. 

Over the course of the last decade, friendships and bonds grew, but distance and busyness made opportunities for collaboration challenging—until 2019.

During the last Festival of Farmhouse Ales in 2019, we had the distinct honor of hosting Vinnie and Natalie from Russian River Brewing and Tomme Arthur of The Lost Abbey amongst our amazing brewery guests, where they graciously shared their craft with visitors at our brewery. Having these three iconic individuals here for the event would have been boon enough, but as luck would have it, a collaboration was also on the docket for the week’s festivities.

They cooperated on an inspired Farmstead® ale—serving as a foundational platform for eventual fruit—that then rested in French and American oak wine barrels for nearly a year. After time in oak, the barrels were blended together and then conditioned atop Vermont-grown cherries and blackberries. After more than two years of conditioning in bottle, this is ready to be shared and enjoyed in the spirit with which it was crafted.

Both of these breweries have signature profiles that an expert could easily detect in a blind tasting. There are certain qualities—especially in wild beers—that ineffably speak with their voice. We’re pleased that those present themselves within this beer as identifiable harmonics in a unique, shared chorus with our own.


Hill Farmstead - Festival Pouring