Drink This Now: Convergence, by Backlash Beer Company
Convergence was in Backlash Beer’s original roster when it launched in 2011, but as Ricochet IPA and Groundswell Belgian pale ale gained traction, sales of the saison slowed and Convergence was benched.
In June, a shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, shocked the nation—including Helder Pimentel, cofounder of the Boston-based beer brand. He wanted to give back to the victims and families affected by the tragedy, and decided to release a beer for the cause. It didn’t take him long to realize it had to be Convergence.
“The beer was named ‘Convergence’ because it was about capturing the spirit of, and rallying around, the craft beer movement,” Pimentel says. “It just made sense to bring it back and have the name speak to something different, in regards to us coming together as humanity.”
Earlier this summer, the Backlash team dusted off the recipe and brewed Convergence at its Western Mass. contract facility for the first time in four years. All of the profits from this new batch will be donated to Support Victims of Pulse Shooting, a GoFundMe campaign started by Equality Florida.
The Pulse Victims Fund has already set a new record for the donations it has received, and now it’s raised more than $7 million toward a $10 million goal. Pimentel hasn’t spoken with the crowdfund creators directly, he says, but he imagines they’ve probably received a lot of inquiries from around the country.
“At the very least, we’ll be able to make a large donation on their behalf,” he says.
Convergence will be available in 22-ounce bottles (MSRP $9) in Massachusetts only, with the majority on their way to Boston-area shelves. Pimentel says Trophy Room in the South End, Jamaica Plain’s Casa Verde, and a few other local bars and restaurants have requested kegs, so keep an eye for it on local draft lines, too.
As the message behind Convergence has adapted, so has the beer itself. This iteration marries the soft spices of saison yeast with a tropical character imparted by Galaxy hops. Pimentel wanted to play around with the style to make sure this batch really separated itself from previous ones, something he has done with other beers, such as the flagship IPA.
“We’ve always billed [past versions of Convergence] as a ‘super saison,'” Pimentel says. “Typically, saisons were brewed to be 3-4 percent ABV, and Convergence has always been around 7 percent. The original brews were very much in line with a regular saison. This time, the addition of heavy American and Galaxy hops have pushed it into a more hoppy category.”
No matter where you find yourself drinking Convergence, raise your glass (or bottle) with reverence and toast. As Backlash put it, “Let’s come together to show that love always wins and that we have not forgotten.”