Big Ditch Brewing are joining the relief efforts for the people in Ukraine, who have endured nearly three months of a Russian invasion, a bloody conflict which has left thousands dead, including numerous civilians. And to do so, they are employing the strongest weapon in their arsenal, Hayburner IPA.
On May 20, Big Ditch will release special, limited edition cans of their flagship IPA, fittingly rebranded for a limited time as Hayburner for Ukraine. 100% of proceeds from the sale of this special version of Hayburner will be donated to Ukrainian American Freedom Foundation Inc., who provides desperately needed humanitarian relief and medical aid to war-torn Ukraine. Hayburner for Ukraine will be released in limited edition 16oz. 4-pack cans.
Hayburner is a citrusy IPA with primary notes of orange, melon and grapefruit and a slightly earthy finish. It packs a firm bitterness but remains balanced by abundant late hop additions and a soft and airy malt base.
This release marks Big Ditch’s latest effort to help the people of Ukraine. This past March, they released Ukrainian Dark Lager, with all proceeds going to Ukrainian American Freedom Foundation Inc. Big Ditch President Matt Kahn said they wanted to do more to create maximum impact in terms of a donation because the dark lager was just a pilot batch.
“The Ukrainian Dark Lager we brewed near the beginning of the war was very well received, but it was only a pilot batch and we felt we could do more from a donation standpoint,” he said. “We wanted to make sure whatever beer we made would have maximum impact towards the donation effort. We thought the Hayburner for Ukraine label would be a no brainer because everyone in our community already knows Hayburner.”
Kahn explains that they explored joining the Resolve collaboration, an worldwide open sourced collaboration beer created by 42 North Brewing, but opted to use the Hayburner brand in order to create more of an impact.
“We explored the idea of doing the Resolve beer, which is an amazing collaboration put together by John Cimperman and 42 North, and we commend them for initiating that collaborative project,” he says. “We just felt the Hayburner for Ukraine label might allow us to create more impact. It would also allow us to donate the funds to the Ukrainian cause of our choosing. Our co-owner, Paul Bohdan Iskalo, is a first generation Ukrainian American and felt it was important to support the efforts of the local chapter of the Ukrainian American Freedom Foundation (UAFF). This is the preferred charity of the Dnipro Ukrainian Center here in Buffalo and they have been providing much needed humanitarian aid and medical supplies to Ukraine since the invasion of Crimea in 2014.”
The United Nations on Friday estimated that at least 7,389 civilians have either been injured or killed in Ukraine since Russia first invaded the country. The civilian casualty estimate includes 3,573 killed, made up of 1,314 men, 855 women and 241 children. Another 3,816 civilians have been injured, including 597 men, 430 women and 357 children.
“The suffering in Ukraine is immense,” Kahn says. “We hope this project helps the people of Ukraine, if even in a small way. We’ll be donating 100% of all proceeds from this beer to the UAFF.”
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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).