Originally published: Trib Live. August 8, 2020
The beer can reads: “Brewed to support justice and equality for people of color.”
“I have been around a long time and I have seen a lot of things but I have never seen anything this strong on a product,” said Esther Bush, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh. “Burgh’ers Brewing wants to make a statement publicly to all of their customers this is something they care about.”
Bush was referring to a beer can she saw at Burgh’ers Brewing, a burger joint and craft brewery with restaurants in Lawrenceville and Zelienople.
The new brew will be released Saturday at both locations and is part of the national Black is Beautiful campaign in the beer brewing community. The effort aims to raise awareness for the injustices people of color face, while raising money for police brutality reform and people who need help with legal fees.
Burgh’ers brew has a “mellow herbal bitterness and floral notes that are subdued by burnt toffee, coffee and the richest cocoa you can find with a mellow caramel note at the end in this robust, velvety ganache of a beer,” according to co-owner Neil Glausier.
More than 1,000 breweries in 50 states and 20 countries are taking part in the campaign. Locally, Couch Brewery in East Liberty, Abjuration Brewing in McKees Rocks and First Sip Brew Box teamed up for a brew. Many others have joined in: 11th Hour Brewing and Cinderlands Beer Co. in Lawrenceville, Butler Brew Works in Butler, East End Brewing Co. in Larimer, Hop Farm Brewing in Lawrenceville, Union Brothers Brewing in Harmony, Noble Stein Brewing Company in Indiana, Hitchhiker Brewing Co. in Sharpsburg, and Inner Groove Brewing in Verona. Each is choosing a different organization to benefit.
Burgh’ers, founded by chef Fiore Moletz, and co-owned with brewmaster Glausier, and his wife Jill, of Brighton Heights, chose the Urban League as the recipient of proceeds from sale of the beer.
“This unfortunate period we are living in now and that unfortunate murder that brought us to this place has inspired me to see a cross-section of Americans embrace and try to have a fuller understanding of what the African American community and other communities of color experiences in the United States,” Bush said.
The Urban League helps African-Americans with education, health advocacy, housing counseling, support for early childhood and youth development, hunger prevention and career preparation.
“We wanted the money to go to something bigger than us,” Neil Glausier said.
Neil Glausier spent the early part of the week working on the first-ever canned beer at Burgh’ers.
He canned 20 cases. The canned beer will be unveiled in conjunction with the restaurant’s 10th anniversary.
“It was a labor of love,” Neil Glausier said. “I wanted this to be the first batch because of the Urban League’s mission.”