With the on-going Covid-19 Lockdown, Archer Brewing has spearheaded the first Brisbane not-for-profit collaboration beer, called the BNE IPA (Bright New England IPA), with 22 other independent Brisbane breweries and 7 local companies to raise money for the Gold Coast mental health education charity LIVIN.
The aim of the BNE IPA this year is to help the wider community. With so much uncertainty and heartbreak surrounding Covid-19, a mental health charity that could help raise awareness about speaking out seemed ideal for that aim. LIVIN spread’s the message ‘It Ain’t Weak to Speak’ so the team from Archer Brewing felt that was the perfect organistion to raise money for, and the beer itself would help friends kickstart those conversations as they shared a BNE IPA.
After Stuart Martin, one of the owners of Archer Brewing, had the idea, he got his other Archer Brewing business partners Lucy Martin (wife) and Gavin Croft involved, and they set about asking local breweries and companies if they would been keen to donate their time, products and/or services for free. Because of this generosity, every cent from the sale of this beer will now go directly to LIVIN. This means everyone who buys it is giving back and helping too.
The 22 breweries (listed below) and their staff on Thursday the 21st of May gathered to pick fresh hops at Hilltop Hops in Hemmant, and then helped with the brewing at Sea Legs Brewery in Kangaroo Point. The same group will help with canning of the beer too.
The suppliers for the ingredients were: Hilltop Hops (Brisbane’s only hop farm) supplying hops, Cryer Malt came on board to supply Australian grown malt (predominantly from Queensland farms through Barrett Burston malting in Pinkenba) and Mauri Brew supplied the yeast. When the beer is ready to be canned, Orora will be supply the cans, Ultra Labels is not only supplying high quality labels for the cans, but also assisting Archer Brewing with the design, and Craft Punks Canning will be offering their canning line and services to can the beer when it’s finished.
The BNE IPA, or Bright New England IPA, has always been a staple of the Archer Brewing lineup, first created in 2018 as a collaboration between 10 independent Brisbane breweries for the Brisbane beer week Brewsvegas, and then repeated in 2019 with 10 different Brisbane independent breweries. For the 2020 version Archer Brewing wanted to use the same collaboration to help, as the focus in Australia shifts from our physical health to our mental health.
The choice of charity was easy for Archer Brewing. LIVIN believe talking about mental health issues is the key, with their motto being ‘It Ain’t Weak To Speak’. “I think everyone has faced some mental health challenges in their life. I dealt with severe panic attacks for a few years, but I tried to do it on my own,” explained Lucy Martin of Archer Brewing. “It wasn’t until I finally spoke to friends, family and a professional, that I was able to get my life back. LIVIN is all about that message, and right now with so much uncertainty and difficulty, everyone needs to hear that asking a friend how they’re doing and being honest could save lives. This beer is not only raising money to get that message out there, but can be the perfect icebreaker for that conversation.” That was why the back of the can design encourages people to share the beer with a friend and kickstart those kinds of conversations. This was something Lucy, who designed the label with Ultra Labels, thought was the most important part.
For Stuart, who was the brains behind this operation, he was surprised by the response. “It’s been a hard time for everyone, particularly in the beer industry with all the closures, but I wanted to find a way to help other people too. With our own industry struggling, I was really blown away by how many companies and people felt the same, and were so willing to help others. The brew day also gave us all a chance to catch up and have those kind of conversations with each other too.”
Breweries: Archer Brewing, Sea Legs Brewing Co, Revel Brewing Co, Newstead Brewing, Slipstream Brewing Co, Helios Brewing, Brendale Brewing Co, Semi Pro Brewing Co, Ballistic Beer Co, Fick Brewing, Brisbane Brewing Co, White Lies Brewing, Common Ground Brewing, All Inn Brewing Co, Bacchus Brewing Co, Range Brewing, Catchment Brewing Co, Soapbox Beer, Aether Brewing Co, Brewdog Brisbane, Fonzie Abbot Brewing Co, White Brick Brewing.
Companies: Ultra Labels, Orora, Craft Punks, Cryer Malt, Mauri Brew, Hill Top Hops
Beer notes: The BNEIPA, Bright New England IPA. A New England IPA is all about the hazy cloudy look with a juicy fruit taste. The BNE IPA, is all about the juiciness with none of the haze, hence calling it Bright. The 2020 Edition is made with fresh Brisbane grown wet hops, QLD yeast, and majority QLD malt. It has a smooth mouthfeel, low bitterness, and pretty of fruit melon and tropical aromatics. The name also references the Brisbane Airport code.