Something is brewing in New York, and it’s rapidly spreading throughout the world.
It's even reached us here in Minnesota.
This contagion, unlike That Which Shall Not Be Named, feels like a blanket of warm fuzzies and goodwill, and can be poured into a pint glass. Along with its arrival comes a positive impact in each community it touches.
And we have craft brewers to thank for this.
For the first time in… maybe all of history? the entire world is making the same beer, thanks to an open-source recipe. At last count, 613 breweries across 40 countries—including five local fixtures—are participating in a collaboration called All Together.
St. Paul’s Black Stack Brewing, Minneapolis’s Modist Brewing and Wild Mind Ales, OMNI Brewing Co. in Maple Grove, as well as Revelation Ale Works in Hallock appear on the list of All Together’s participants. Each day that list grows longer.
All Together IPA is made from ingredients commonly available (or easily acquirable) by most brewers, though it leaves open the door for a little creativity, too, should the mood strike.
The concept behind All Together is even bigger than uniting the world through the beauty of beer, though.
“With our taprooms and dining rooms closed to the public, we have lost our primary source of revenue. And our staff have lost their incomes.… In this industry, when one of us struggles, the rest of us pick them up,” reads a message on the collaboration's official website, which hosts All Together’s recipe, branding materials, and more. The message is signed, simply, “The Brewers of The World.”
“The idea was pitched to us by our friends at Other Half Brewing in Brooklyn,” Daniel Wellendorf, co-owner and head of marketing at Modist, told City Pages. “They basically came up with this idea.”
From Modist’s perspective, participating in this collab was pretty much a no-brainer. “We’re looking to help out not only our workers but hospitality workers at the bars and restaurants who’ve supported our brand since the beginning in any way we can,” explained Wellendorf.
“Logistically, we just put it into our production schedule, which you would [reasonably] assume, had opened up quite a bit. Then the only challenge was finding a charity to donate funds to.”
Since everything necessary to brew and promote All Together had been made available for free distribution, all its creators at Other Half and Stout Creative asked in return was that a portion of proceeds from the beer would be donated to hospitality professionals in their local community.
To fulfill this part of the bargain, Wellendorf reached out to Hospitality Minnesota. The organization directed his attention to The North Stands. The start-up is dedicated specifically to accepting and distributing funds to Minnesota's servers, bartenders, dishwashers, brewery staff, and more affected by the pandemic. (Proceeds from sales of All Together at Wild Mind and Black Stack will also go to The North Stands; OMNI and Revelation are backing The Silver Linings Fund.)
“It’s run by a great group of people who are super excited to have us on board and it makes it all pretty easy. They need the support and this is a cool opportunity for us to chip in something.”
A design developed by Stout Collective ensures the branding appears consistent across the globe, despite staggered production and roll-out dates. Modist’s batch of All Together will hit retail shelves in early May.
“It will be available May 2 in our taproom,” Wellendorf says. “We’re going to do some crowlers of it, and then we’ll do four-pack tallboys released in liquor stores on Monday the Fourth.”
Though we're literally and socially distant in the here and now, All Together is building a support system for the rattled, while making it possible to know exactly what someone else very far away is clutching, tasting, and experiencing…
Check in with Black Stack, OMNI, Revelation, and Wild Mind to find their All Together release dates as they become available, or cruise the #AllTogetherBeer hashtag to catch a worldwide vibe that doesn't require frantically washing one's hands.