The coronavirus pandemic has hit the hospitality industry hard, as bars, restaurants, and breweries have had to adapt to a situation where most people are staying home. Many have had to lay off workers while jobless numbers hit record highs.
Looking for a way to help, the brewers at Other Half Brewing in Brooklyn, New York, devised a plan: an open-source collaboration beer, in which any brewer can participate and make their own version, with proceeds going to support hospitality workers in dire straits during the pandemic.
To that end, they launched a website—alltogether.beer—explaining the initiative and offering the recipe. So far, more than 150 breweries across the country have agreed to brew beers based on essentially the same recipe, using proceeds from sales to support the cause either locally or nationally. (Other Half, for example, will donate its proceeds to the Restaurant Workers Community Foundation.)
Other companies are pitching in: Craftpeak designed the website; the Stout Collective designed the downloadable label art, which any brewery is free to use; and Blue Label Packaging is offering discounted printing for those labels, at cost.
The idea is for all the breweries to follow the same recipe, more or less—there will be inevitable variations, and brewers are welcome to add their own twists.
“Having all breweries make the same beer is a show of unity,” says Sam Richardson, cofounder and brewer at Other Half. “There will be some embellishments or subs, because we want to be flexible and keep it interesting, but the base will be roughly the same brewery to brewery. I know all the beers will be different though; we all have different techniques, different water, different hops, and different malt providers. Should be fun to see all of them pop up in the coming months.”
To bring some more attention to the initiative, we provide a homebrew version of the recipe below. If you brew it, we ask that you consider buying any commercial versions you find out there—to compare side-by-side with your homebrewed version while supporting the cause. Better yet, make a direct contribution to the Restaurant Workers Community Foundation here.
Make It: All Together IPA
The brewers at Other Half designed this recipe to be flexible so that with a couple of modifications, it could be either a West Coast IPA or a New England–style IPA. What follows immediately below is the West Coast version; see below that for the hazier, less bitter New England version.
Batch size: 5 gallons (19 liters)
Brewhouse efficiency: 72%
MALT & GRAIN BILL
9.4 lb (4.3 kg) pale two-row
1.75 lb (794 g) flaked oats
7 oz (198 g) Briess Carapils
1.1 oz (31 g) Columbus [14% AA] at 60 minutes
1.4 oz (40 g) Mosaic [12.25% AA] at whirlpool
1.0 oz (28 g) Cascade [5.5% AA] at whirlpool
2.9 oz (82 g) Mosaic, dry hop
1.5 oz (43 g) Cascade, dry hop
1.5 oz (43 g) Citra, dry hop
1.5 oz (43 g) Simcoe, dry hop
Chico strain (e.g., Fermentis Safale US-05 American Ale, White Labs WLP001 California Ale, Wyeast 1056 American Ale, or similar)
Mill the grains and mash at 154°F (68°C) for 60 minutes. Vorlauf until the runnings are clear, then run off into the kettle. Sparge the grains and top up as necessary to obtain 6 gallons (23 liters) of wort—or more, depending on your evaporation rate. Boil for 60 minutes, following the hops schedule. After the boil, spin the wort, add the whirlpool hops, and cover. Let rest for 10 minutes. Chill the wort to slightly below fermentation temperature, about 66°F (19°C). Aerate the wort and pitch the yeast. Ferment at 68°F (20°C). Once primary fermentation activity subsides, dry hop for five days.
HAZY (NEIPA) VERSION The grain bill is the same. For the hops, dial back the 60-minute Columbus addition to 10 IBUs (about 0.22 oz/6 g). For the yeast, instead of Chico, use a London strain such as Wyeast 1318 London III or White Labs WLP066 London Fog.
In Brooklyn, we have a very soft, neutral water profile. For the West Coast version, we recommend calcium sulfate, and we aim to stay around 150ppm or less. For the NEIPA, we recommend calcium chloride additions, and we aim to stay under 300ppm chloride. You know your water best, so adjust accordingly.