Iron Tug and Irondequoit Beer Company brew beer to raise money for the people of Ukraine | What ales me

0

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine began in late February, Pravda Brewery, a craft brewery in the western city of Lviv, made the disheartening decision to cease all beer production.

But Pravda was not closing up shop. Far from there. The brewery instead turned to producing Molotov cocktails to support the war effort as Ukraine’s Defense Ministry urged citizens to start improvising the devices. Do-it-yourself incendiary tools are made from bottles originally intended for Pravda’s strong Belgian beer “PUTIN HUYLO”.

The name translates to “Putin is an asshole”, and the bottle is illustrated with a nude image of Russian President Vladimir Putin on a throne.

Pravda, now in the role of an impromptu arms manufacturer, has called on the international brewing community to offer support to Ukraine through so-called “victory beer” sessions. Pravda has opened its recipes to any brewer willing to make them, with profits going to Ukraine. The brewery is also hosting virtual sessions with breweries, offering advice on making beers.

At Irondequoit Beer Company, head brewer Nate Kester will launch a version of Pravda’s witbier, Frau Ribbentrop, on Saturday, April 2.

“Irondequoit has such a large Ukrainian population, we thought it was a no-brainer,” Kester said. “And it’s just a cool opportunity, I would probably never brew a German spirit, and that’s a great reason to.”

The beer itself, sampled directly from the fermentation tank, is brilliantly floral, with subtle citrus bits sprinkled across both the front and the finish.

The name of the beer is a slam at former German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her perceived inaction in helping Ukraine during Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea in the eastern part of the country. Merkel is equated with Joachim von Ribbentrop, Nazi Germany’s foreign minister who negotiated the 1939 non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union.

Leslie DiCesare, chief executive of Irondequoit Beer Company, said the brewery had conversations with Pravda, mostly on Facebook, before brewing.

“It’s kind of surreal talking to them, halfway around the world, with everything that’s going on,” DiCesare said.

When the beer is released, the brewery will partner with St. Mary The Protectress Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, which will hold a pierogi sale at IBC to raise funds for Ukraine.

Irondequoit isn’t the only brewery in town brewing something special to benefit Ukraine. On Park Avenue, Iron Tug Brewing released “Blue and Gold,” a lager named after the colors of the Ukrainian flag last weekend.

Iron Tug does not work directly with Pravda, but will donate proceeds from the beer to two specific Ukrainian charities.

Insight Ukraine is an organization dedicated to providing resources, shelter and support for LGBTQ Ukrainians, and the Coalition to Support Black People in Ukraine, which aims to help Black Ukrainians facing discrimination at the border.

“As an organization, we saw that need and wanted to try and find organizations that met those needs specifically for those groups of people,” said Eric Wallace, head brewer at Iron Tug. “It’s something we’re passionate about, supporting these groups in the first place.”

Click to enlarge

  • PHOTO BY GINO FANELLI
  • Head Brewer of Iron Tug Brewing Eric Wallace.

Blue and Gold pays a lot of homage to Ukrainian culture. The beer is brewed with malted sunflower seeds, emblematic of Ukraine’s precious national flower, and cornflowers, a traditional Ukrainian symbol of kindness, beauty and hospitality.

The sunflower seeds give the beer a light roast while giving it a dark straw color reminiscent of a New England IPA, while the blueberry adds an ever so subtle hint of herbal tea tannins.

In Ukraine, Pravda still continues its efforts to build international solidarity through beer, even though the brewery itself has had to put the beer on hold.

But, as described in the “Victory beer” series mission statement, there is hope in the brew.

“Brewing in Lviv now looks like a non-priority,” reads Pravda’s website. “The city is preparing for a fight. Alcohol is forbidden and we support it once in our life. But brewing now – like giving birth or getting married – is hope.

Pravda also accepts donations directly to support their wartime efforts.

Gino Fanelli is a staff writer at CITY. He can be reached at (585) 775-9692 or [email protected]

click on the picture
champion-story-banner.gif


Source link

Share.

Comments are closed.