In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, several Kansas City-area breweries are joining All Together, a worldwide beer collaboration that will raise funds and awareness for the hospitality industry.
Other Half Brewing, based in Brooklyn, New York, launched the project that has quickly garnered interest from breweries around the globe including the acclaimed Side Project Brewing in St. Louis.
All Together is an open invitation for any brewer worldwide to participate by brewing a New England IPA or West Coast IPA based on an open-source recipe. The recipe, label artwork, name and other tools were provided at no cost, much like the Resilience IPA brewed to support California wildfire victims. Participating breweries will donate a portion of proceeds to support hospitality professionals in each brewery’s community.
City Barrel Brewing Co. was the first in Kansas City to announce participation in the project. Co-founder James Stutsman says the brewery will produce a New England IPA with a “subtle twist” that includes using oats and wheat in the grain bill. City Barrel will donate 50 percent of the proceeds from its All Together IPA to its furloughed employees.
“We were already trying to figure out a way to help our laid-off employees,” Stutsman says. “They’re our family, and it has killed us to have to be in this situation. When we heard about the collaboration and the charity aspect behind it, it was a no-brainer. We have 20 employees who have families, rents due and bills they can’t pay because we’re shut down. We’re happy to do something like this. We just wish we could do more.”
City Barrel Brewing, 1740 Holmes St., Crossroads Arts District, Kansas City, 816.298.7008, citybarrelbrewing.com
The Big Rip Brewing Co. will brew the West Coast IPA version of All Together IPA. “I will replace the Columbus bittering hop addition with Chinook,” says head brewer Bri Burrows. “I like the profile of Chinook a bit more than Columbus, plus we already have it in stock.”
Burrows knew immediately that she wanted to participate in All Together. Two employees have been laid off and others have reduced hours. “It’s a great opportunity for us to brew some beer in these trying times when we aren’t really brewing much,” she says. “It’s been kind of rough not brewing for a few weeks. It’s always what I look forward to most out of all of my day-to-day duties.”
Big Rip continues to sell packaged cans and growlers through curbside pickup, but sales pale in comparison to normal taproom sales prior to shutdown orders during quarantine. Generating sales through All Together will help provide income for the brewery’s team.
“This is a fun way for us to give back to our employees who aren’t making nearly as much money as they normally would,” Burrows says. “We’re going to kick the profits for this beer back to our loyal staff. I am excited to try as many local versions of this beer as I possibly can.”
The Big Rip Brewing Company, 216 E. Ninth Ave., North Kansas City, Missouri, 816.866.0747, bigripbrewing.com
Servaes Brewing Co. will make some tweaks to the NEIPA recipe. Instead of using an American yeast strain, co-founder and brewer Courtney Servaes prefers to use London Ale or British Ale yeasts in her New England IPAs. “The recipe calls for Cascade hops in the whirlpool and dry hop. For our Cascade additions, we'll be utilizing Kansas Hop Co. Cascade hops to put a little Kansas twist on it,” she says.
Servaes had already been working with a few other regional breweries on a collaboration effort when this project caught her attention. “It seemed like a great way to achieve what we were already planning on a national scale,” she says.
While shutdowns during the COVD-19 pandemic have taken a toll on all businesses, Servaes has not laid off any employees yet. “We have two employees, besides myself, who work the majority of our hours and derive the majority of their income from our brewery,” she says. “Being able to continue to pay them during this time is something I am extremely proud and grateful for. We couldn't do that without the support of our customers, who continue to show up week after week to buy our beer.”
The brewery has also been able to provide income for a part-time employee who lost her full-time job. “Our customers have been awesome. We hope they continue to support us during this difficult time,” Servaes says.
Servaes Brewing will donate funds raised to the KC Hospitality Support Initiative.
Servaes Brewing Co., 10921 Johnson Dr., Shawnee, Kansas, 913.608.5220, servaesbrewco.com
Sandhills Brewing Co.'s locations in Hutchinson, Kansas, and Mission, Kansas, will both brew a New England IPA as part of the collective effort. “We have always been Other Half fans and see this as a great way to support the hospitality industry in our area,” co-founder Jonoathan Williamson says. “We have been fortunate to continue operating without much loss. Many of our friends aren’t so fortunate. This is just one small thing we can do to help.”
Sandhills Brewing Co., 5612 Johnson Dr., Mission, Kansas, and 111 West 2nd Ave., Hutchinson, Kansas, 785.424.4663, sandhillsbrewing.com
Wind Shift Brewing assistant brewer Kevin Aubuchon approached owners Lynn DiPlacito and head brewer Tony DiPlacito about the initiative. All employees wanted to participate in the All Together effort. “They all wanted to pay for it out of their own pockets so we wouldn't incur any extra expenses at this time,” Tony says. Funds raised will be donated to KC Hospitality Initiative. “We wanted the money to go from brewer to brewer, bartender to bartender, service industry professional to service industry professional.”
COVID-19 prompted Wind Shift to revamp its business model overnight. The brewery began offering free sack lunches to its community. Part-time employees, who have been able to retain full-time jobs elsewhere, are working shifts and helping the owners where possible. “They refuse to let us pay them during the shutdown,” DiPlacito says. “They're all kind of amazing and want to help others in the industry who aren't as fortunate. We feel blessed to be in an industry where everyone comes together to help each other out.”
Wind Shift Brewing Co., 3421B NW Jefferson St., Blue Springs, Missouri, 816.786.2699, windshiftbrew.com
Learn more about the All Together Worldwide Collaboration at alltogether.beer