Beer for Good
Many groups in the craft beer industry are underrepresented, including the LGBTQ+ community. When Grace Weitz of Hop Culture let PorchDrinking know that a Queer Beer Festival was launching this year after the success of the Beers With(out) Beards festival, I knew I had to chat with Weitz to learn more about the festival and what sort of virtual events we can expect. The festival will be held on June 5, 2021 and tickets can be purchased here.
We know them. We are them. Fierce Female by Scorched Earth is a West Coast Style IPA brewed to highlight the contributions of women within the industry and around the world. This year, Fierce Female was reimagined. This beer recognizes strong women past and present, while also empowering the next generation of fierce females.
The arts and the hospitality industry are more intertwined than we often consider. When someone has tickets to see a show, it is highly likely they will also go grab food near the venue; they might be making an entire trip out of the event depending on the ticket (“Hamilton,” anyone?). While the hospitality industry has been hugely affected by COVID-19, at least they could have some income coming in. Theatres have been completely shut down, causing thousands of people to be out of work across the country. It is not just actors: It is set builders, costume and makeup designers, conductors, lighting and so many more jobs that are involved in live theatre.
We have all seen how beer can help make a difference, from the Black is Beautiful collaboration to the newly-launched Curtain Up Beer Project. So, when Savagewood Brewing Co. wanted to collaborate with female beer blogger Beer Babe Jess (Jessica Merritt), they immediately knew they wanted the collaboration to be for a good cause. The end result is Pouring It Forward, a Raspberry Ale featuring a special hop blend from the Pink Boots Society (Ahtanum, Cashmere, Citra, Loral and Sabro) with proceeds going towards the Big Sister League in San Diego.
The phrase “Sitting down over a beer” is part of the American lexicon. Friends discuss work, marriages, money, politics, sports or even physical health. But, what about mental health? Why does that seem so rare? As well, craft brewers, who routinely engage in community support, have not addressed mental health until recently. Maybe it’s because it seems hypocritical to produce alcohol and note support for mental health; but that’s a stigma that many hope to change. Malteurop Malting Co., Hollingbery & Son Hops, Eagle Park Brewing, Hope for the Day and many others have kick-started a collaboration beer called “Things We Don’t Say IPA” in an attempt to make mental health discussions as common as Monday morning quarterbacking. This is not to say that one should have a beer when feeling down. Simply, it’s that that people who make and/or enjoy beer should not only feel okay discussing the topic, but be happy to do so.
As much as the brewery and restaurant industry has been hit in the wake of COVID-19, live theatre has essentially seen an entire shutdown. While there have been wonderful virtual performances (yes, I do still watch Meryl Streep, Christine Baranski and Audra McDonald perform Ladies Who Lunch on a weekly basis), nothing beats the thrill of going to a live musical, play or comedy show. As someone who performed in comedy theatres across Chicago, my heart aches when I think of how many theatres will need to close and how many working actors have struggled through the past year.
Most people of color living in majority-white countries regularly encounter racism, be it violent, cruel and open prejudice or nasty little microaggressions. Sadly, this is a fact. But what do you do when your job, your hobby or both are imbued with structural racism? When it stops being about individual attitudes and becomes about organizational and institutional frameworks and hierarchies that, in their very nature, are skewed to exclude people of color?
Message from the author: This story discusses suicide and other sensitive themes concerning mental health in an adult manner. While the intent of this reporting is to help destigmatize conversations about mental health, its content may be sensitive to some readers. In addition, it includes dialogue that contains explicit language, which has been left unedited out of respect for the authenticity of the interview that was conducted.
Please take this into consideration before reading.
They say when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. In Colorado, when wildfires torch your county… you make beer. Six craft breweries in Grand County have crafted the East Troublesome Pale Ale in response to the East Troublesome Fire that raged for more than a month in their backyard. All proceeds for this beer will be donated to The Grand Foundation to support those that have been affected by the East Troublesome Fire.
Sunday, December 20, marks the 10-year anniversary for one of Grand Rapids, Michigan’s most celebrated breweries: Brewery Vivant. The brewery is the world’s first LEED certified commercial microbrewery and a Certified B Corporation. It is beloved among Michigan’s beer loving community for their Belgium-style brews, as well as their commitment to the local community. To celebrate 10 years, on December 17 the brewery released J’aison, a Petite Saison brewed with orange peel and Tellicherry black peppercorns. It is currently available on draft and in cans for sale at the brewpub.
One of the greatest things about the craft beer community is the community itself. Without a large group of like-minded individuals drinking it and bonding over it, craft beer would simply be a liquid with a curious chemical composition. And when tragedy strikes, breweries are often among the first to rally support, most often with a collaboration release.
In lieu of the old adage, “have your cake and eat it too,” this year’s motto for Creature Comforts Brewing Company in Athens, GA should be: “drink your beer and do good, too.” This holiday season, grab a physical or virtual seat at your dining table with Creature Comforts’ Table Beer.
Table Beer, a Belgian-style Session Ale, is refreshing and floral, yet light and subtle. Even though the body is light and the ABV is low, there is an earthy balance and a peppery bite behind a hop-forward aroma and flavor. The finish is dry and cleansing, as the delicate mouthfeel readies your palate for another sip, soup or salad. At 4.2% ABV, Table Beer is an incredible pairing no matter what holiday meals you enjoy.
While this year continues to be a harrowing one for most across the country, residents of Northern Colorado have had a particularly trying summer as forest fires ravaged significant parts of the state.
The culture of craft beer has always had a strong connection to the communities in which it thrives. For many of us, our neighborhood brewery is far more than merely a place that produces the things we enjoy drinking–it is a community center, a gathering place, and an intrinsic part of our daily lives, not to mention a foundational element for hobbies, relationships, and fostering a sense of place. Enter Cheers, Yinz!, a beer festival built to help beloved local breweries weather the economic (and emotional) effects of decreased sales and temporary closures.
The Michael James Jackson Foundation for Brewing and Distilling (MJF) launched in July 2020. Its mission is to grant scholarships to fund technical education within the brewing and distilling industry for people of color in the U.S. At the virtual GABF, Garrett Oliver, brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery, discussed the foundation, how it came together, and why it’s so important.
The Black Pumas were nominated for “Best New Artist” at the 2020 Grammys, and they wanted to try something different in 2020. The Austin, TX-based group decided to collaborate with 4th Tap Brewing Cooperative, with the goal of brewing a beer for shows that would benefit their community.
According to John Stecker, President and Co-Founder of 4th Tap, the goal was to create something “accessible and drinkable for summer shows.” That said, they didn’t want to simply put the Black Pumas name on a random beer. Rather, both entities wanted the group to be a part of the brewing process.
Sycamore Brewing out of Charlotte, North Carolina, is partnering with Brewing Funds the Cure to release Rising Hope IPA on Friday, October 2. One hundred percent of proceeds from the sale of this beer will be donated to the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation.
Walk into Lady Justice Brewing on East Colfax in Denver and you know exactly what they’re about. It’s emblazoned on their logo, it’s on every can they sell, and it’s the motto they live by every day.
“Great Beer, Better World”
The craft beer and hospitality industry have had to weather a multitude of uncharted challenges over the past three months.
In addition to a revolving door of ever-changing state mandates, small business owners have been forced to wade through convoluted …
This article has been updated to note that Governor Jared Polis’ updated easing of restrictions directly applies for restaurants but also addresses brewery re-opening provisions.
Since mid-March, breweries, and businesses across the state have been forced to alter their business …