For a brewery that strives to support the military and veteran charities, it would make sense for First Line Brewing to call upon the help of a veteran himself, 12 Gates Brewing Head Brewer Matt Gordon, for their first ever collaboration, Shook’s Bitch’n Stout, which, fittingly enough, will be released on Veterans Day, November 11, at both locations. $1 from every pour at both locations will go to a military charity.
Shook’s Bitch’n Stout (6.5%) is a “stouted” version of their Bitchin’ Betty Blueberry Muffin Ale, brewed with chocolate and blueberry Timbits. The beer was brewed at 12 Gates.
“We wanted to enhance the blueberry flavors and make it different,” Gordon said. “That’s where the chocolate came into play and was a very easy choice. This stout should have a smooth and creamy mouthfeel that is overwhelming with chocolate and blueberries along with hints of roasted coffee and raisin.”
For the release, at 12 Gates, they will have a Coin Challenge Fundraiser to benefit WNYHeroes.org. Additionally, all veterans will get their first beer free (excludes new release), then 20% off after that. They also offer a military discount for active duty and veterans is for 12 Gates beer and merch every day (military ID required).
Need a reminder what the coin challenge is? Carry it on you at all times in case someone challenges you. If you’re participating and don’t have it on you, you’re stuck buying the round. You can recover by challenging others. Read more on that here.
It would make sense that First Line and 12 Gates would eventually team up on a beer, as Gordon has been helping out First Line Head Brewer/Co-Founder Shane Stewart since the beginning.
“First Line Brewing is doing a great job out in Orchard Park with their beers,” Gordon says. “Being creative and adjusting on the fly with their recipes is very tough when you first start up, and so I kind of tried to take the lead on this collab and wanted to incorporate one of their staples for this Veteran’s Day project. Bitch’n Betty is their blueberry ale that has become a mainstay during the first couple months of opening. For anyone who doesn’t know, Bitch’n Betty is military slang for the onboard voice safety system in jets or helicopters. A common phrase that has been used in TV and movies is “Pull Up! Pull Up!” That voice belongs to Leslie Shook.”
Shook, a recording engineer, retired from Boeing after 35 years in 2016, where she served as the voice of all F/A-18 audio warnings, saving countless Marine and Navy pilots throughout her career, and still today. Funny story – she only got the job because their normal record engineer had to attend a funeral (“or a wake,” as she recalls).
“Matt contacted me regarding a Veterans Day collab and I was definitely on board,” Stewart said. “After shooting some ideas around, we came up with the idea of “stouting” our Bitchin’ Betty, while also adding chocolate muffins. We brewed it on a small batch scale at their brewery.”
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Brian Campbell is co-founder and Brand Manager of the Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column. If you have beer news that should be included in the Beer Buzz, Brian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), and Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague).