For Immediate Release
The Plains, Ohio — What if you could support sustainable agriculture and cleaner streams simply by drinking a beer or two?
Now you can. Helping Hops is working with Pretentious Barrel House in Columbus to offer a limited release of two brews that will benefit Rural Action, a nonprofit striving to boost the economy and environment of Appalachian Ohio in sustainable ways.
The two beers — Acid to Acid, Rust to Rust and Terra Amar — were inspired by Rural Action’s work, and all profits from sales will help further those efforts.
“Food insecurity and the legacy of historic coal mining are critical issues in Appalachian Ohio,” says Debbie Phillips, CEO of Rural Action. “These beers honor two of our social enterprises that are striving to address these problems. We obviously love that the profit from sales will benefit Rural Action’s work, but we also love that Ohio breweries are working to help a wide range of nonprofits that focus on sustainability. These efforts are yet another reason our region is so special.”
While both of the brews are sour beers, the similarity ends there.
“Various sour beers can be astonishingly different,” says Josh Martinez, owner of Pretentious Barrel House, noting they’re called sour beers because of their acidic profile. “I often compare them to sour candy to give people an idea of what we’re talking about. I don’t like super sweet things. The acid is a way to counteract some of the sweetness. It should be a component that balances the taste. We pair the fruit — in this case, apricots — with the oak extracted from the barrels in the aging process to get the right balance.”
Acid to Acid, Rust to Rust is a fruited wine-barrel-aged sour blonde that’s dry hopped with Mosaic hops and finished with Apricot. The name refers to Rural Action’s work removing acid mine drainage from streams, which often run rust-orange because of pollution from historic coal mining. Rural Action’s True Pigments social enterprise is building a facility on Sunday Creek that is converting iron oxide that’s removed from the water into a marketable pigment for paint and other products.
“Acid to Acid is a light, blonde beer that will appear a bit hazy when poured, almost orange from all the apricots we used,” he says. “It has a huge apricot nose, but you get the hops right way.”
Terra Amar — Portuguese for Earth Love — is a sherry-barrel-aged dark sour that is sweeter than Acid to Acid, Rust to Rust. “It’s a bit like one of those orange chocolates, but with a beer flavor,” Martinez explains. “It smells like fresh oranges and has nice vanilla flavor. You get all these flavors that are savory with no residual sugar, and it’s relatively low calorie.”
The beer is inspired by Rural Action’s work supporting the local food chain and efforts to combat food insecurity, particularly through Chesterhill Produce Auction, another of the organization’s social enterprises.
Helping Hops, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting social and environmental sustainability in craft brewing, helped connect Pretentious with Rural Action for this fundraising initiative.
“I learned about Rural Action when I saw an article in Time magazine about True Pigments,” says Andrew Stroh, co-founder of Helping Hops. “I saw how close to Columbus that project was. My first thought was, ‘We need to fund this and have label art that tells the story of what they’re doing.’ Rural Action is doing everything we want to support — water cleanup, sustainable agriculture, fighting food insecurity.”
The Terra Amar label features artwork by Ohio University Painting and Drawing Professor John Sabraw, who has worked on the True Pigments project and uses paints made from iron oxide extracted from Sunday Creek. The drone photo on the Acid to Acid, Rust to Rust label was taken by Benjamin Wirz Siegel, a Photography Supervisor with Ohio University Communications and Marketing.
Helping Hops was formed to help brewers and others in the craft beer business give back to the community and raise awareness of important issues.
Rural Action members can purchase these limited-edition beers before they’re available to the public. They cost $20/bottle, and you will be able to pick them up at Rural Action’s Office in The Plains. Just choose that option during checkout.
Rural Action is a regional community development organization with a 32-county footprint working with members and community leaders on a range of quality of life, environmental, and economic projects across rural Appalachian Ohio. Its mission is to build a more just economy by developing the region’s assets in environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable ways. Learn more about Rural Action at www.ruralaction.org