MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN-MobCraft Beer, Bottleshare, and The Brewer’s Association are working together to brew and distribute a blended sour ale to benefit the Believe in Beer Fund. The Believe in Beer Fund was announced by the Brewers Association and Bottleshare at the end of April to support breweries and state brewers guilds impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. MobCraft Beer is the first brewery to partner with Bottleshare and the Brewers Association to brew a beer with proceeds donated to the fund.
While a collaboration between a small, Milwaukee brewery and a Georgia based non-profit may seem unlikely, the partnership came about in a natural way. Bottleshare and MobCraft had worked together prior to the pandemic on a fundraiser (that was cancelled as a result of COVID-19). The conversation shifted from the fundraiser to Bottleshare offering assistance in establishing a digital tip jar for MobCraft bartenders. MobCraft Beer President and Co-Founder, Henry Schwartz, invited Christopher Glenn, Founder and Executive Director of Bottleshare, to join him on Instagram Live for a conversation about how breweries were doing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Glenn hinted that he had exciting news to share during the Live, but said he couldn’t say more.
During the Instagram Live, Glenn shared the news about the Believe in Beer Fund. Schwartz immediately responded, “We should brew a beer for that! We can use Georgia peaches!” A participant in the chat quickly commented that Door County cherries should be included. (Bottleshare is Georgia based and MobCraft is Wisconsin based, so it made sense to feature the fruit of each state.) Glenn was all in. “When the Mobcraft/Bottleshare seed was planted, we didn’t just water it, we threw as much Miracle Grow at it as possible. As soon as the Brewers Association committed to joining us on this collaboration, we knew we had something truly special in the works,” Glenn commented. The Believe in Beer Blending Barrel Series was born.
Fruited Sour Ale Oak Barrel Aged Blending Barrels Edition No. 1 was blended by MobCraft Director of Barrel Operations, Adam Thomas. With Thomas at the helm of MobCraft’s barrel aged program, the brewery has become known for their wild and sour beers, garnishing national accolades at the Great American Beer Festival® and Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beers in October and November of 2019 respectively. Fruited Sour Ale Oak Barrel Aged Blending Barrels Edition No. 1 is a deep golden ale blended from four different oak barrel aged beers of various ages: a sour amber, a brettanomyces fermented golden ale, sour golden base from 2018, and a mixed culture Belgian tripel. The beer comes in at 6.5% and will be refermented on Georgia peaches and Door County cherries. It is set to be released in early July.
Glenn was so determined to make the inaugural brew a success, that he began cold calling orchards to ask for a donation of 1000 pounds of Georgia peaches. When he called Lane Southern Orchards in Fort Valley, Georgia, he reached Gene Hall. “Lane is an old family farm that’s grown on its own but always recognized that it’s the people that we were working with that were our future. It’s about the community. It just made a lot of sense to us,” Hall said.
Inspired by Glenn, Thomas reached out to Lautenback’s Orchard outside of Fish Creek, Wisconsin, and was also met with generosity: they donated half of the 800 pounds of cherries required by the recipe.
“The first time I got to chat with Chris about this project I was so full of emotion, the hair was standing up on the back of my neck. It brings me joy to imagine this beer being enjoyed by people around the United States, while raising money for such a great cause!” Schwartz reflected.
Glenn echoed Schwartz’s enthusiasm, stating, “It’s a collection of great people coming together to brew a great beer, all for a great cause. As our first collaboration to see nationwide distribution, we are immeasurably grateful and beyond excited to generate much needed funds for this incredible community to which we all belong.”
To learn more about the collaboration, join Glenn, Schwartz, Thomas and other representatives from MobCraft, Bottleshare and the Brewers Association on Facebook and Instagram at 4:00pm CST on Friday, May 22 to talk more about the collaboration.
The beer will be available starting in early July in MobCraft’s taproom. Brew Pipeline will distribute the beer across the country. Bars, restaurants, and breweries in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota who would like to order the beer can contact [email protected]. Bars, restaurants, and breweries in other parts of the country can order this beer through distributors that work with Brew Pipeline. Anyone interested in ordering the beer for a licensed account can complete this form for more information: https://forms.gle/5J9XqoG7pykLHRML7
Those who would like to support Believe in Beer can donate at https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/believe-in-beer-relief-fund.