26 degree brewing helps a Ukrainian brewery make Molotov cocktails

Next month, beer lovers in South Florida can do more than sip a good brew. They can help contribute to the Ukrainian aid effort thanks to a special publication called “Beer for Bombs.”

On February 24, the day Russia invaded Ukraine, the Pravda brewery in Lviv stopped brewing and began bottling something a little more potent: molotov cocktails.

Pravda owner Yuri Zastavny says the transition from peaceful brewery to a brave patriot felt necessary.

“The idea to make Molotov cocktails was pretty spontaneous. When we first heard the news of the attack, our brewery team decided we could not just do anything,” said Zastavny, who also used the homemade fire appliances during the 2014 Maidan protests. “It was an easy decision to switch from beer to bombs. We are peaceful brewers, but it’s pretty much the time to mobilize yourself, look at your skills and knowledge and decide to do what you can to contribute.”

Over the last few weeks, Pravda Brewery has made thousands of Molotov cocktails – about 2,500 per. batch – and delivered them to local civil defense forces. Additional batches were sent directly to Kiev.

On March 5, Zastavny wrote a post on the Pravda website, publishing the recipes and graphics for five of his beers, while urging other brewers to make beer for Ukraine. The piers include a dry-hop ale, “Putin Huylo”; “Syla”, a Belgian triple; “Red Eyes,” an American red ale; “Frau Ribbentrop”, and Belgian white beer; and “From San to Don”, a Ukrainian imperialist stout.

click to enlarge Beer for Bombs will donate proceeds from the sale of Pravda Brewery's Ukrainian imperial stout back to the brewery.  - PHOTO PERMISSION FROM PRAVDA BREWERY

Beer for Bombs will donate proceeds from the sale of Pravda Brewery’s Ukrainian imperial stout back to the brewery.

Photo courtesy of Pravda Brewery

The message, which was also sent to Facebook, caused a flow of support from more than 500 breweries around the world, including several in the United States. The funds will be donated to “Brew for Ukraine”, an online fundraising effort set up by former Pravda brewer Cory McGuiness, which will be used to feed Ukrainian refugees and local civil defense forces in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv.

“We’ve had a huge response and it’s very touching and emotional. So many people are brewing our beer and we’m halfway to our $ 50,000 goal,” Zastavny reports. “To all who support us, I tell them this: ‘We are fighting for the future of places like Finland, Poland and Taiwan. If this dictatorship gets what they want, it will encourage dictatorships in many countries to act as Russia does. “If my generation does not do something now, then our children will have to do it. The Russians must know that they are not fighting the Ukrainian military alone. They are fighting against all of us.”

Locally, Pompano Beach-based 26 Degree Brewing Co. a brewing collaboration using Pravda’s imperial stout recipe for the benefit of “Brew for Ukraine.”

“Breweries are community centers and should do what they can whenever possible,” says 26 Degree co-owner Yonathan Ghersi New Times. “We are fortunate to live by what we love, and giving back is our way of showing our appreciation.”

26-degree head brewer Jason Ferreira says that although the beer, called Beer for Bombs, is still fermenting, it already turns out to be an intense complex stout with a rich, malty taste and notes of chocolate and coffee.

“We really wanted to stay as true to Pravda’s recipe as possible, even going so far as to recreate their exact water profile as best we could,” Ferreira says. “As a contract brewery, I look at another brewer’s recipe as their baby, one that should be treated with the utmost respect. Given the seriousness of the situation in Ukraine right now, it was an honor to brew this beer.”

A Beer for Bombs official release party is scheduled for Saturday, May 7th. The party will include free food provided by Flanagan’s, discounts on beer flights, a tasting and a busy message from the owners of Pravda Brewery in Lviv.

At the event, Beer for Bombs will be available on tap for $ 8 per glass, with all proceeds earmarked for Pravda. The first 50 people queuing to buy the beer receive a free to-go can. After the release party, you will be able to find Beer for Bombs at select locations in Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. A four-pack of 16-ounce cans sells for $ 16, and for every four-pack sold, $ 12 will go directly to Pravda Brewery. In addition, the proceeds from each Beer for Bombs T-shirt will go to Pravda to produce more Molotov cocktails.

The event was coordinated by Broward Beer blogger Joe Pye and Society of Professional Journalists Southeastern Associate Regional Coordinator Gillian Manning, who helped introduce 26 Degree to Pravda Brewery’s fundraising initiative and organized Beer for the Bombs collection.

Beer for the Bombs Release Party. 17:00 to 19:00 Saturday, May 7 at 26 Degree Brewing Company, 2600 E. Atlantic Blvd., Pompano Beach; beerforbombs.com.

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