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Breweries Around the World Are Making an IPA to Help Hospitality Workers

March 30, 2020

By Diana Hubbell, March 30, 2020

Despite various governmental relief efforts, the economic impact of COVID-19 on restaurants, bars, and breweries has already been devastating. So far, Other Half has managed to hold on by distributing their cans to retail outlets for the first time ever. The New York brewery’s owners saw too many of their friends in the hospitality industry struggling to make ends meet. As the potential extent of the damage began to sink in, the team decided to do something about it. 

“As the closures started happening, we looked around at our industry and we were really proud of how fast bars and restaurants and taprooms were shutting down public spaces for the sake of protecting everyone’s safety,” says Matt Tanaka, creative director of Stout Collective, which oversees the brewery’s marketing. “We wanted to do something to bring everyone together and support people in the industry and this project was born out of that.”

That project was All Together, a hazy IPA recipe created by Other Half with branding by Stout Collective. Any craft brewery in the world can download the open source recipe and the label, provided they donate a portion of the proceeds to an organization that benefits hospitality workers within respective local communities. Much like Sierra Nevada's Resilience Butte County Proud IPA helped raise funds and awareness after California's devastating wildfires, it gives brewery's the chance to unite helping those in need right now. Because craft beer is not about homogenization, breweries are also welcome to customize both the beer and the artwork. Blue Label Packaging Co. will print labels at cost.

Photo courtesy of Melissa HomThe team at Other Half

“We were looking at how the entire world is affected by this, but the needs of each community are different. We wanted to find a way to give people the tools and support they needed to affect their community,” Tanaka says. “We put the call out to our friends all over the world. It’s truly an international effort.”

So far, the list of participating breweries includes Juguetes Perdidos Cerveza in Argentina, Omnipollo in Sweden, CRAK Brewery in Italy, and Wylam Brewery in the UK, along with dozens of American breweries including Burial in North Carolina and Trillium in Massachusetts.

It’s been really inspiring to see all these breweries say, ‘What can we do?’”

“We were looking at how the entire world is affected by this, but the needs of each community are different. We wanted to find a way to give people the tools and support they needed to affect their community,” Tanaka says. “We put the call out to our friends all over the world. It’s truly an international effort.”

So far, the list of participating breweries includes Juguetes Perdidos Cerveza in Argentina, Omnipollo in Sweden, CRAK Brewery in Italy, and Wylam Brewery in the UK, along with dozens of American breweries including Burial in North Carolina and Trillium in Massachusetts.

“We’re trying to get people to come together a little bit more just to have something to leverage into the culture again, since it was stripped away,” says Andrew Burman, co-founder of Other Half,” says Andrew Burman, co-founder of Other Half. “It’s also great for fostering that sense of community. People can set up a virtual happy hour and have the same experience in a shared way.”

All Together stands out among other grassroots relief efforts in that it is both fully global and hyper-local at the same time. In the coming weeks and months, Burman says they plan to host online chats and post videos of brew-days to help maintain that sense of connection. 

“Brewing is a physical thing. We’re used to running taprooms and having in-person conversations. Now everyone is being incredibly responsible, so we’re having to find new ways to communicate,” Tanaka says. “It’s been really inspiring to see all these breweries say, ‘What can we do?’ We’re all looking for little moments of positivity in this really difficult time, but it’s encouraging to see how this has come together.”

ZX Ventures, a division within AB InBev, is an investor in October
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