London celebrations

Brews News: Railway City is renaming its lager in support of Ukraine

The invasion of Ukraine has prompted aid agencies to tap into the beer community, including a craft brewery in St. Thomas, to help raise much-needed funds.

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The invasion of Ukraine has prompted aid agencies to tap into the beer community, including a craft brewery in St. Thomas, to help raise much-needed funds.

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And I couldn’t be more proud of the brewery and the city where the Ukrainian flag now flies at the town hall, where a dark little road called Ukrainian Street has become a place for flowers, and where one of his famous sons is of Ukrainian descent and no doubt wishes he could return to the poetics of craft beer instead of Russian aggression.

Railway City Brewing has relabeled its lager in yellow and blue with a clenched fist of resistance and a new name for the occasion: #StandWithUkraine. Photos of the beer quickly swept across social media, including prominently on the Facebook page of Steve Peters, a city councilor who was formerly an MLA and mayor whose grandfather anglicized Pidwerbeski’s surname.

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County of the city of St. Thomas.  Ukrainian-born Steve Peters poses with a beer from his hometown craft brewer.  #StandWithUkraine by Railway City is being sold to raise funds for Red Cross relief efforts.  (Photo by Steve Peters/Facebook)
County of the city of St. Thomas. Ukrainian-born Steve Peters poses with a beer from his hometown craft brewer. #StandWithUkraine by Railway City is being sold to raise funds for Red Cross relief efforts. (Photo by Steve Peters/Facebook)

For every can sold, $1 will be donated to the Canadian Red Cross Humanitarian Crisis Appeal for Ukraine.

“We had an overwhelmingly positive fundraising response, selling out our first batch in less than 24 hours,” Railway City’s Sarah Schliederder said in an email. “We are so grateful for the support our community has given to our #StandWithUkraine fundraiser and other fundraisers for Ukraine.”

This first batch was 60 cases and the canning continues.

Many breweries in the United States and across Europe are doing similar things, citing inspiration from Ukrainian brewer Pravda who quit making beer and started making Molotov cocktails to defend themselves against the Russians. Beer, they claim, provides a moment of respite as fate unfolds. The beer, they claim, can help mobilize donations to help alleviate the suffering of citizens.

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There is momentum to brew a Victory Series beer from recipes shared by Pravda and using the joint Brew for Ukraine label. A Michigan brewery, Final Gravity, was quick to step up and brew an “anti-imperial stout with roasted beets.”

Another open source revenue campaign is Resolve, a humanitarian aid project started by 42 North of East Aurora, NY, and 2085 Brewing of Ukraine. Resolve raises funds for an agency working in Ukraine to help families back home and women and children trying to reach Poland. Resolve recruits and nurtures brewers the same way Black is Beautiful, Brave Noise and Things We Don’t Say have done before.

Among other fundraising beers: Putin is a Dick growlers sold by Lakefront Brewing in Milwaukee and Slava Ukraine Wheat Beer by Forest City Brewery in Cleveland.

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Meanwhile, in St. Thomas, the first stock sold out quickly and left Railway City scrambling to get more labels printed so they could be applied to the cans by hand. The specially-labeled beer — priced at $3 for a tallboy can — will be replenished as it becomes available at the brewery and in its online store.

We anticipate more breweries raising funds for the Red Cross in the same way.


NEW AND RATED

They may be on different sides of the border and cheer on different hockey teams, but that hasn’t stopped Buffalo’s Thin Man and Hamilton’s Collective Arts from collaborating on an IPA again. Border Crossing was launched at Collective Arts locations in Hamilton and Toronto to celebrate the NHL Heritage Classic outdoor game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabers at Tim Hortons Field on Sunday, March 13. This is a friendly, easily drinkable IPA. They brewed it with a combination of Vic Secret, Simcoe and Cascade hops. It’s six percent alcohol. The artful art of a determined pond hockey player competing in falling snow is by Kyle Loaney of Minnesota.

The outdoor Heritage Classic NHL game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Buffalo Sabers is celebrated with a collaboration between Collective Arts of Hamilton and Thin Man of Buffalo.  Available from Collective Arts in Hamilton and Toronto, Border Crossing is a juicy IPA made with three varieties of hops.  (BARBARA TAYLOR/The London Free Press)
The outdoor Heritage Classic NHL game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Buffalo Sabers is celebrated with a collaboration between Collective Arts of Hamilton and Thin Man of Buffalo. Available from Collective Arts in Hamilton and Toronto, Border Crossing is a juicy IPA made with three varieties of hops. (BARBARA TAYLOR/The London Free Press)

American tap information company iPourit has compiled a list of the most poured beers among its users and the results have some surprises. The best style of beer was IPA, but it is followed by cider at #2 and lager at #3. Seltzers are at No. 11. Among the brands, Michelob Ultra and Bud Light were No. 1 and 2, but third was Mango Cart, a wheat beer from Golden Road Brewing, a California brewery owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev .

Wayne Newton is a London-based freelance journalist.

[email protected]

Twitter.com/WayneWriteOn

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