May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Established in 1949, the national movement aims to draw attention to the stigma faced by millions of Americans living with mental illness and their fight for care. This year’s movement is poised to have even greater reach than before, thanks to the craft beer industry. During the month of May, several breweries are releasing their version of a beer named Things We Don’t Say.
In conjunction with Malteurop Malting Co., Hollingbery & Son Hops, and international awareness group Hope For The Day, Wisconsin’s Eagle Park Brewing created the special IPA recipe. Then, they posted it online, along with an open invitation for other brewers to join in.
“The cause is something that’s near and dear to all of us. It’s been a tough year on everyone,” says Eagle Park Co-Owner Jake Schinker.
While a portion of the proceeds is going to Hope For The Day’s suicide prevention and mental health education programming, Schinker says that isn’t the main goal, due to the quiet nature of mental health struggles.
“From the beginning, we all decided that the message is more important than raising funds,” he says. In addition to promoting mental illness discussion via the beer name, Eagle Park includes contact information for seven different mental health resources on their labels for Things We Don’t Say. Participating brewers can use this template or customize their own.
While many of the breweries involved are keeping their batches limited and close to home, Tavour is working with 11 of them to bring the beers into the public’s hands nationwide. The online retailer is already known for connecting craft fans to hard-to-find beers from over 600 breweries. Representing Illinois is Energy City Brewing, Maplewood Brewery, Mikerphone Brewing, Old Irving Brewing, and Riverlands Brewing. Also coming from the Midwest is Nebraska’s Zipline Brewing, and Wisconsin’s The Brewing Projekt Meanwhile, Divine Barrel Brewing stepped forward from North Carolina, as did Source Brewing from New Jersey.
For Greg Taylor of Source Brewing, the decision to get involved was a meaningful way of recognizing that “many, if not most, of us are fighting some sort of internal battle… Connecting to another human being and having a meaningful conversation, with or without a beer in hand, can be extremely healthy and beneficial.”
As for his brewery’s rendition of Things We Don’t Say, Taylor is optimistic about its impact. “We hope that the can label art and messaging behind this campaign will spark a conversation and help to normalize everyday discussions around mental health,” he says. “Help people understand that it’s okay to not be okay and ask for help. “
Colorado breweries ban together to support victims of mass shootings
To support victims, families, and those directly impacted by the Boulder Supermarket Tragedy, local breweries, Upslope Brewing Company, Oskar Blues Brewing, Left Hand Brewing, Sanitas Brewing Co., Bootstrap Brewing Co. and Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery have teamed with brand marketing accelerator, Fortnight Collective to create, “Colorado Care Can”, an assortment of community crafted beers provided to support The Colorado Healing Fund and bring hope back to the Boulder community.
100% of the proceeds from CO Care Can will go to Colorado Healing Fund, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created in 2018 to assist local communities with the financial, emotional and physical needs of victims of mass tragedies that occur in the state of Colorado. The organization serves as the secure point for the community to donate and works with the victim advocates and service providers to distribute the funds to victims.
“We feel a deep responsibility to help our neighbors in any way we can, said Matt Cutter, Founder and President at Upslope Brewing Company. “By joining together with local breweries with a common purpose, our hope is to engage the community in the best way we know how and help Boulder heal.”
The CO Care Can idea was created by Boulder-based, Fortnight Collective which specializes in AdHacks, a design-sprint process built to liberate the strategic and creative development of brands. In a matter of days, Fortnight Collective brainstormed and ideated with the breweries on fourteen creative design ideas. Ultimately, the CO Care Can was selected, which will act as a mechanism to empower beer drinkers to contribute to the Colorado Healing Fund. The can spotlights the Colorado state flag at half mast along with ten stars in a circular pattern to represent the ten victims. The flag waves in such a way that it distorts the center ‘CO’ icon into a heart, visually showing respect and support for all of those impacted.
DuClaw links summertime playlist to Summertime Seedless
Perfect for picnic season, Baltimore-based DuClaw Brewing Company has introduced ‘Summertime Seedless,’ a lightly hopped sour featuring crisp watermelon juice, complemented by subtle sweet splashes of honeydew and strawberry. The bright green and red packaging pays homage to the seasonal fruit staple, and includes a special QR code that links to a custom Spotify playlist packed with relaxing summer-themed jams.
“As we start testing recipes and new ideas, we always seek out ingredients that consumers will be craving throughout the season,” said DuClaw Director of Brewery Operations Chris Wood. “To capture the complete tart melon flavor, we infused pure watermelon to ensure it would be just as satisfying as biting into a freshly cut slice, balanced with lactose for smoothness.”
Summertime Seedless’ is pink-hued and features huell melon hops and a 7.1% ABV.
Sun King continues to blow minds with cocktail-inspired beers
Sun King Brewery, the second-largest craft brewery in Indiana and winner of the most medals of all individual breweries in 2020 at GABF, has a few new unique styles and flavor profiles coming soon. Its cocktail-inspired beers are what stand out most to me. Polynesian Passion is one such creation: a tropical drink-inspired and barrel-aged Belgian-Style Tripel with pineapple, orange, and toasted coconut character, 13% ABV, 30 IBU.
According to Andrew Hood, Barrel Manager at Sun King, “Polynesian Passion was inspired by iconic tropical classic cocktails. Our collective travels, real or in our minds, lead us to the creation of Polynesian Passion. This is a continuation of our cocktail-inspired beer.”
Other Sun King cocktail-inspired beers include:
- Old Fashioned Extraction – Old Fashioned Extraction is a cocktail inspired belgian style quadruple aged with cherries and orange peel for 14 months in 20 year old bourbon barrels.
- Manhattan Fog – Manhattan Fog is a Belgian-Style Quadruple aged in both bourbon and cherry mead barrels with orange peel and cherry, giving the beer a distinct Manhattan-cocktail character.
- Practical Magic: a gin cocktail-inspired ale available in June.
Deep Ellum pickles its next hard seltzer
Deep Ellum Brewing Co. announces the release of Blind Pickle Hard Seltzer, a guaranteed-not-to-suck seltzer crafted for pickle lovers. Blind Pickle is part of a rotating seltzer series that presents limited release hard seltzer flavors. The series is a spin-off of Deep Ellum’s year-round Blind Lemon Hard Seltzer. Blind Pickle is now available throughout Texas.
Blind Pickle is a light, zesty hard seltzer infused with natural dill pickle flavor. The result is a dillicious, light beverage that pairs well with Texas summer. Crafted in a process similar to Deep Ellum’s other brands, Blind Pickle uses cane sugar instead of the malted barley that appears in a typical beer, making it gluten free, 100 calories, and high in pickle flavor.
Ever wonder why a pickle is always included with a sandwich? The tradition started in Jewish delis, where the pickle was introduced as a palate cleanser. Pickles enhance the flavors of whatever they accompany, so pair Blind Pickle with grilled cheese or cookout favorites like hamburgers or brats. Also pairs nicely with your favorite liquor, making the “pickle-back” obsolete.
Flying Dog brings back Old Bay seasoned beer
Created by Maryland’s Flying Dog Brewery, perfect for summer days full of seafood, Dead Rise’s gose formula blends the Chesapeake’s most iconic seasoning – OLD BAY – with a refreshing lemony tartness for a beer low in bitterness and high in flavor. To achieve the beer’s delicate tartness, Flying Dog’s brewers added lemon and salt to the recipe, which also calls for 50% more OLD BAY then Dead Rise’s previous formula (a blonde ale). Brewed with Citra hops, Dead Rise carries a 5.7% ABV and 25 IBUs.
“The gose recipe we debuted in 2020 is back and wrapped in awesome packaging that even more closely resembles a can of OLD BAY,” said James Maravetz, VP of Marketing at Flying Dog. “This must-try beer features the zesty, unique flavor of this beloved staple – OLD BAY – with a refreshing pop of lemon and salt that makes Dead Rise the perfect companion for summer days full of seafood.”
A portion of the proceeds from Dead Rise sales are donated to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ True Blue Program, an annual campaign that highlights and rewards those restaurants who make it a point to serve local, Maryland harvested crab. The name Dead Rise is also a nod to the traditional fishing boats used year-round by Chesapeake Bay watermen to gather the shellfish.
Pure Project releases fantastic, peachy wild ale
Among several awesome new releases from San Diego’s Pure Project Brewing is EUPHORIK WITH DOUBLE PEACH — an oak barrel-aged feral ale with, yes, double peaches. Head brewer, Winslow has spent years creating a proprietary yeast strain specifically for this beer; it provides both the initial funk and the lingering bite that will make you remember the entire experience as purely, well, “Euphorik.”
“We added a double amount of organic peaches into this batch and aged it in formerly pinot noir French oak from Napa Valley. This unique beer will delight the senses with flavors and aromas of juicy peach, candied lemon, and oak with a bit of funk. Expect a very soft acidity and creamy mouthfeel,” the brewery tells us.