On June 6, Atlanta’s craft beer community mourned the loss of one of their own when Dan Rosen, the cofounder of Mazurt Brewing Company, died in an apparent hit-and-run incident on Briarcliff Road. While Mazurt is a brewery-in-planning—it doesn’t yet have a brick-and-mortar location but distributes its products through the festival circuit—it’s already earned a name for itself. At the Tampa-based Cigar City Brewing’s Hunahpu’s Day festival, Rosen and his business partner, Hamp Covington, won awards for two years straight for their vanilla Russian imperial stouts aged in hollowed coconuts. The beer was a hit not only for its flavor, but also for its live-action presentation: Rosen and Covington served guests whole coconuts, which they then cracked open, letting the stout pass through a strainer.
“It was a lot of fun to watch, but it made a huge mess,” Covington explains. “Beer splattered all over the table!”
Not long after Rosen’s death, Covington, Wild Heaven Beer’s Nick Purdy and Eric Johnson, Cigar City’s Wayne Wambles, and Max Lager’s John “JR” Roberts began planning a special beer to pay tribute to their friend. In honor of his signature coconut creations, the brewers created “To Dan!,” a hoppy, coconut double IPA. While Rosen was known for his stouts, he was also a lover of fresh IPAs. “If an IPA had a date on it that was more than two weeks old, he wouldn’t buy it,” Covington says. “He was well-known for pushing fresh beers, especially fresh IPAs.”
The beer is a limited run—Wild Heaven shipped only 250 cases of the six-pack cans to stores—and will be on tap at the Avondale Estates brewery for the next few weeks, as well as at bars around the metro Atlanta area. A portion of the proceeds from the beer are also being given to Rosen’s wife.
“Dan was the type of guy that was always present and always a joy to be around—one of those guys everybody loves,” says Purdy. “[The coconut] was just something he was into, and something that made his beers memorable.”