Local breweries have been working hard to benefit many charities over the years in the Albuquerque area, but a new initiative is taking things to an even more collaborative level.
Bosque Brewing, Sierra Blanca Brewing, and Steel Bender Brewyard have teamed up to create a new beer to benefit The Storehouse New Mexico. One for 5 Pale Ale is the result, with six-packs of this beer now for sale at 25 Albertsons Market locations throughout the state, plus on-tap sales at the breweries later this week.
The twist with this collaboration is that 100 percent of the profits will go to The Storehouse, which is the largest food pantry in New Mexico. The nonprofit has been a chosen charity for Steel Bender since the brewery started, but now its fellow Admiral Beverage-distributed breweries have hopped on board to create this special beer.
Steel Bender co-owner/marketing director Shelby Chant said everything came together quickly as a beer was needed in time for Hunger Action Month in September.
“For the last two years, Steel Bender Brewyard has been a proud contributor to Storehouse’s mission to raise awareness about the tens of thousands of New Mexicans who worry every day about how to feed their families,” Shelby said in the official press release. “This year, we hope that by collaborating with other generous partners with a determined purpose, shared message, and accessible product, we can get that message to a broader audience and spark statewide support.
“One dollar provides five meals to New Mexico families. It’s that simple. So, whether you sip a pint at the taproom or buy a six-pack at an Albertsons Market, you’re feeding a fellow New Mexican who was unsure about their next meal. We hope craft beer fans around the state will back this effort and drive the momentum by purchasing, enjoying, and sharing the message of this beer.”
In a quick in-person interview, Shelby said that the decision to do a single collaboration beer made more sense than each brewery making its own.
“What makes more sense is let’s do one beer,” Shelby said. “It’s a stronger message if we all brew under one name and call it a day.”
One for 5 was brewed at Steel Bender under the watchful eye of brewmaster Bob Haggerty, with contributions from Bosque and Sierra Blanca, including everything from ingredients to brewers from each place working together.
“Rich (Weber) donated the lion’s shares of the hops that went into it, but most of it the collaborative effort was in the back-and-forth on recipe development,” Bob said. “When it came down to brewing it, it was five turns on our brewhouse. We kept plugging away.”
All told, nearly 600 cases worth of the beer were produced. The recipe came from a desire to appease both the more casual beer consumer and the more die-hard beer geeks.
“A lot of it came from sort of the balance (we sought), and what we thought people would buy,” Bob said. “We thought we want to make something that’s accessible … but still enjoy it and be attracted to it. But, also something that’s for craft beer fans who want a little bit more in their beer. We tried to walk that line.”
As Bob put it best, “I just wanted to do essentially a classic American pale ale.”
Having snagged a six-pack to take home, I can say that he hit those classic notes. The beer has a bit of a light, floral aroma on the nose. The Maris Otter malts are prominent on the back end, with some classic hops like Centennial and Cascade popping ever so slightly up front. It has a proper blend of flavors to keep things interesting throughout.
There will be special brewery celebrations featuring live broadcasts from KZRR 94 Rock, another sponsor, throughout September. Head to Alien Brewpub, which Sierra Blanca co-owns, on the 4th from 5 to 7, or to the Bosque Public House in Nob Hill on the 7th from 5 to 7, or to Steel Bender on the 25th from 5 to 7.
The Storehouse provides food to more than 53,000 New Mexicans per year, many of whom are not homeless, just the working poor. An estimated one-third of those customers are children.
“Food is a basic human need and we at Storehouse New Mexico work hard to make sure local families can put food on the table,” executive director Swarupa Watlington said in the press release. “We are the safety net for over 53,000 people a year who might otherwise be going without meals. These breweries have come together with heart for our community, with a drive to help people in need. They want to be part of the solution, fighting hunger in New Mexico, and for that we are very grateful.”
To all the breweries involved, we raise a glass of One for 5 to you and your efforts to help our community.