“We’re making a beer called Amplify Black Voices…100% of the proceeds will go to Capital Partners for Education, a DC-based mentoring program,” Hellbender CEO and head brewer Ben Evans tells DCBeer. The beer will be released Sunday, August 9, at the Hellbender Taproom from 3 to 8 PM. You can order online for Sunday afternoon pickup, though call ahead. As of Thursday, August 6, 41 cases had sold through the brewery’s presale. Hellbender is holding 35 cases for door sales on Sunday.
Amplify Black Voices was brewed in collaboration with future doctor Tim Bryson, the Program Director for Student-Athlete Career Development at the University of Maryland. Bryson leant his intelligence and credibility to the project, and local designer Brandon Wilson designed the cans, which feature a black background with Kente cloth design on the letters of Amplify Black Voices.
Bryson writes of the beer:
“We chose the name Amplify Black Voices to both magnify and actively listen to the experiences of the Black community. We understand there are systemic inequities, not limited to racism, that inhibit the Black community from excelling and pursuing their evolving goals. We wanted to brew a beer that says “We hear you” and “we want to help” as we believe education can help all students identify their passion, inspire shared visions, and walk in their unique purpose. This is also why we chose to donate 100% of the proceeds to Capital Partners for Education.”
Amplify Black Voices, canned on Tuesday, August 4, is a hazy pale ale with citrus. At 5.8% ABV it is fermented with fresh squeezed orange juice, grapefruit juice, fresh orange zest, and dry hopped with Amarillo hops. Refreshingly dry, it possesses an intense citrus character.
Amplify Black Voices goes beyond beer in that it is a collaborative project with a hyper-local focus. According to Evans, “All sales profits will be donated to Capital Partners for Education, a mentoring and college success program for low-income students in the Washington, DC metro area.” Capital Partners for Education demonstrates impressive results for students, providing in their own words, “one-to-one mentoring and college and career success programming to low-income students in the Washington D.C. – area” since 1993. Stories from students sharing their experiences in the program are insightful and motivating. If you wish to donate directly you can do so here.
On Sunday, in addition to Amplify Black Voices releasing, Hellbender will feature the Roaming Rooster food truck, a Black-owned business that happens to make some of the best chicken in DC according to this reporter [Editor’s note: and editor!]. Order ahead online for contactless pickup here by clicking the Hellbender box at the bottom of the link to select pickup location.
All photos via Tim Bryson.