Thursday, January 19, 2017

Making Noise: a Pussy Riot Ale

The past election has left people with a feeling of hopelessness in many communities that Bess Dougherty, a brewer from Denver decided to take action. Bess and Kelissa Hieber from Goldspot Brewing collaborated on a protest beer for the upcoming inauguration.  What a fun way to voice one's political position. They had the intention to just brew a one-off beer at Goldspot Brewing but with popular response on Facebook the mission took off with 5 breweries wanting to host brew days and multiple bars will host tappings of the beer.  There were 20 ladies who participated in the brewing of the protest beer.

Bess Dougherty has worked in the brewing industry for many years. She was the head brewer at Wynkoop Brewing and is getting ready to open a new brewery. Kelissa Hieber works at Goldspot Brewing. Goldspot Brewing wanted to lead the way with this project. They like to get involved with the community in anyway they can and brewing a beer is right up their alley!

Bess and Kelissa decided on the style of for the protest beer, it’s an Imperial Saison and each brewery created their own recipe. Goldspot Brewing added strawberries, 3 Freaks Brewing made the Imperial Saison with lavender, Lady Justice Brewing did it with Warrior Hops, Black Sky made a black Saison with peppercorns, and Brewability Lab make it with Acai. I would be fun to go to all 5 breweries to taste each version of the Imperial Saison. The protest beer at each location is a tap release only, so once it’s gone, it’s gone!

The name, Making Noise: a Pussy Riot, it’s the Russian feminist protest Punk band, Pussy Riot. Bess has been a following them for many years and scored tickets to a panel discussion that a couple of the members of the band were on, this happened a few days after the presidential election. The event struck a chord with Bess, especially the words from one in the band, it takes action and activism to be a member of Pussy Riot.

The mission statement in making this beer is:

We believe in an America that celebrates its diversity, an America that protects and supports anyone regardless of sexual orientation, gender, identity, race, religious views or immigration status. We condemn the hate that has always existed against marginalized groups and we will not stand for the new strong wave hitting our country. We felt it necessary to take action and decided to use our art to make our voices heard. We are coming out in support of those most at risk in our community and doing what we can to stand together as a united voice against hate and intolerance. This beer works to combat the hate and oppression while also lending support and solidarity to the fight for equality. We believe in this beautiful community and we feel it is necessary to work together to protect it.
We are asking that at least $1 from every pint sold at each participating brewery will go towards a charity that supports those most at risk in our community. We are also working with our partners for tap takeovers to ensure that proceeds from those events also go towards the proposed charities.

You might be hearing more about Bess and Kelissa in future collaborations.

To get more information before Friday, they have a Facebook event page,