It is rare to have a beer whose name can be taken so literally.
Knowing full well that I have readers at pretty much every wavelength of the political spectrum, I still hope that every reader can agree the current situation in Ukraine is horrendous. To see the loss of life and the utter destruction based on nothing more than the whims of a dictator is heartbreaking, but it’s also been affirming to see how much most of the world immediately came to support those in the fight against Russian occupation.
One of the more vocal groups has been Pravda Brewery in Lviv. Not too long ago the brewery posted on Instagram that they had stopped brewing beer and changed their operations to make molotov cocktails for use against invading Russian tanks.
Naturally, the American craft beer industry took notice, and there have been a number of fundraisers to help support Pravda and Ukraine. A lot of them are centered around taking one of Pravda’s recipes and brewing it for themselves, then donating the proceeds.
This is what 26 Degree Brewing and the Society of Professional Journalists decided to do with Pravda’s Ukrainian Imperial Stout, culminating in the release of Beer For Bombs (Imperial Stout, 9.5% ABV) Imperial Stout last weekend.
As 26 Degree’s owner Yonathan told me, all proceeds are going to be donated directly to Pravda for their use in repairs and bottling said devices. At this time they have raised over $6,500 through the release of the beer and associated merchandise.
It’s been an interesting project to watch, since Yonathan was very adamant the beer be made exactly the way Pravda makes it. The water profile was exact, the hop list and hopping schedules were exact, everything was made exact.
And I’ll tell you, it’s an interesting beer. It’s got a beautiful dark color, and the aroma belies a more earthy hoppiness than imperial stouts tend to have.
The flavor is wild. It starts with a very light body, not at all thick and chewy like other imperials tend to be. That hoppiness gives it a bit of a sharp bite, with a noticeable alpha acid quality. But it’s the malt where things get really interesting, because there’s a touch of smoked malts in the grain bill. That gives it a very interesting charred sort of quality that isn’t excessive, just slightly noticeable, and an extra added character when coupled with those hops.
It’s still on sale at 26 Degree Brewing, and I definitely suggest getting out there as soon as you can to pick up a four pack. If you would like to donate to Pravda directly, use this link for a GoFundMe page that Pravda’s former brewmaster has set up.
I have donated and I hope you do the same. Let’s hope this situation ends before they need to make one more bomb.
Drink Florida Craft,
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