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Wicked Creations unite Hanover breweries

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Brent Stambaugh and Bill Seidler always knew they wanted to work together, but what would they make?

Mark Mathias, Stambaugh's partner at Miscreation Brewing Company in Hanover, gave them the idea to craft a Pumpkin IPA: two strong, competing flavors they would need to expertly balance.

They took the challenge.

"It's not that common," said Seidler, an owner at Hanover's Something Wicked Brewing Company. "If we’re gonna make, it let’s make it big. Big, bold flavor — something that’s gonna stand out."

At that, Stambaugh said, "This is gonna be a monstrosity!" and they had their name.

Monstrosity will be the first Wicked Creation, a collaboration between Miscreation and Something Wicked brewing companies.

Related: Partnership brings new beer to Hanover for Dutch Days

Seidler said their biggest struggle was finding out what hop flavor would go best with the pumpkin.

"There's a wheel of hop flavors," he said. The citrus, fruit and floral varieties didn't suit the pumpkin that well, so they went with an earthier and pinier hop. The result was a pumpkin beer that still retains the bitterness of an IPA.

After giving a sample to their business partners, Seidler said, "Tell me the two flavors you get from this," and they said, "You get a lot of pumpkin and a lot of hop."

Mission accomplished.

"I’ve never heard of anything like it," Stambaugh said. "Something totally new to me."

Related: Get your fix with these pumpkin brews

Seidler and Stambaugh knew each other for a long time before they started brewing together.

"He and I are kind of like family," Stambaugh said.

Seidler is married to Stambaugh's cousin, "so he's kind of like my cousin," Stambaugh said. "Cousin-in-law, I guess, if you want to get specific," he said with a laugh.

They both wanted to start a brewery in Hanover but didn't know they'd end up there at the same time.

"At the time, we didn’t know there were two other ones that were doing the same thing." Stambaugh said.

Aldus Brewing Company arrived in Hanover less than a year before Miscreation and Something Wicked, which opened in March and May 2015, respectively.

"We have talked about it with Aldus, Miscreation and Something Wicked all doing something, but we’re all so busy and never have enough time." Stambaugh said of a collaboration. "We really want to work with Aldus sometime. Just do a Hanover thing, you know?"

The Hanover breweries, including Warehouse Gourmet Bistro and Brew Pub, are all in a friendly state of competition. They collaborated with other local craft beer sellers to place an ad bringing awareness to Hanover as a destination for craft beer.

Related: Hanover becoming craft beer mecca

"Always makes you feel good to know you are drawing people out of town into Hanover for craft beer," Seidler said. "If it’s good for one of us, it’s good for all four of us. It’s good for Hanover."

Miscreation and Something Wicked's Monstrosity will be the first collaboration between Hanover breweries on a beer.

"If it goes well, it might be the first of many to come," Seidler said.

The two brewers worked together at Something Wicked, sharing equally in decisions and labor.

"It was a great time," Stambaugh said. "I was just as much of a part of it over there as I would have been here [at Miscreation]."

"The process was actually extremely smooth, extremely easy," Seidler said. "We both joked that we could work for each other any day."

Seidler and Stambaugh plan to release their beer at this Saturday's Oktoberfest. They will both extend their alcohol licenses to the parking lot in the square.

Related: Pumpkin haters, here are some fall beers you'll like

The brewing team also plans to have a special release of a firkin of Monstrosity at Something Wicked in mid- to late- October. The beer is poured into a barrel, sugar is added and after it's sealed, yeast eats the sugar and releases carbon dioxide, which carbonates the beer — a three- to four-week process.

"We added an additional seven or eight flavors to the firkin," Seidler said, such as vanilla bean and cinnamon stick.  "When we tap it on the bar, it will flow really wonderful."

Each brewery will offer commemorative tasting glasses to celebrate the new beer a 10 ounce Belgian tulip and an 11 ounce snifter, one from each brewery, to encourage the public to try Monstrosity at both locations.

"It’s just how this community is," Stambaugh said. "It’s a friendly community. We don’t consider ourselves competition."