If we are trying to find the positive in the mess that is Covid-19, one aspect has to be how it has brought so many people together to overcome the difficulties posed by the pandemic. This is nowhere more evident than in the craft brewing industry, and as we noted in a recent post, we are proud to be participating in the All Together worldwide beer collaboration. As the beer is nearing completion (release planned for May 11!), we wanted to give you a bit more insight into not only what we brewed, but what we are supporting with funds raised from the sale of the beer.
The concept behind the collaboration is that everyone brews the same base IPA recipe but adjusts the hop and water profile to take it in one of two directions: New England or West Coast. This, in addition to differences created by brewing equipment and limitations regarding hop availability, means that while similar at the core, the final product from each brewery will be quite different.
For our brew here at KBC, our first major adjustment was substituting a portion of the hops due to not having the required amount of all varieties on short notice. While we had about half of the required amount of Mosaic on hand, the remainder was substituted for Idaho 7. While much more dank and resinous than Mosaic, it retains a unique underlying fruitiness, and the way we utilised it means that its character comes through in a nice background note.
Second was our decision to not really go in either the East Coast or West Coast direction in favour of something in between. Hazy IPAs from New England are fun, but we never seem to find ourselves ordering a second one, and honestly it is difficult to discern a hazy from brewery A from that of brewery B. West Coast IPAs were one of our gateway beers, but the mouth wrenching bitterness and high ABV means it is hard to have more than one. So for us, the balance was in the middle: a nice juicy hop character from lots of late hoping with restrained bitterness from hop additions during the boil and creation of a soft water profile.
So where will our proceeds go? When we first found "Kyoto Self Lockdown ", a crowdfunding project supporting restaurants and bars in Kyoto who decided proactively close their businesses prior to the government requesting that they do so, there were approximately 200 supporters and they had raised a little over 1,000,000JPY. There are now nearly 700 supporters combining to raise nearly 7 million JPY, which speaks to both the huge swell of support they have received as well as the importance of their goal.
For us, we saw supporting this project as the most immediate and direct way to contribute to people in the food services industry affected by Covid-19. Proceeds will be distributed between all participating establishments, and on top of that supporters have the opportunity to support one specific location with a food and drink coupon that can be redeemed after the establishments reopen.
Finally, a reminder that we are not alone in the support of the industry through participation in this collaboration. At the time of writing, the following breweries have also announced their participation. Where available, we have included release information for each.
<sorted by release date and then alphabetical where release unknown>
- Uchu Brewing (Yamanashi): Apr 27th
- NOMCRAFT Brewing (Wakayama): May 1st
- Matsumoto Brewery (Nagano): mid-May
- Kyoto Beer Lab (Kyoto): mid-to-end of May
- Ushitora Brewery (Tochigi): end of May
- And (&) Beer (Tokyo): TBA
- Black Tide Brewing (Miyagi): TBA
- DD4D Brewery & Clothing Store (Ehime): TBA
- Derailleur (Osaka): TBA
- Izumi Brewery (Tokyo): TBA
- Riotbeer (Tokyo): TBA
- Two Rabbits Brewing Company (Shiga): TBA
- West Coast Brewing (Shizuoka): TBA