Brewery Vivant, Broad Leaf Local Beer, and City Built Brewing Company are three of five Michigan breweries taking part in the 2020People Power Beer Campaign. Launched in 2018 by Brooklyn, New York-based Threes Brewing, the grassroots effort has enlisted more than 100 craft breweries across the nation. The participating breweries brew and release their own version of a People Power Beer between July 4 and Election Day, November 3, then follow up with a donation to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
“Human rights are pretty important all the time but especially in times like now when there is so much happening in this world. The ACLU is really a big advocate for protecting human rights,” says Kris Spaulding, owner of Brewery Vivant. “I think that’s a pretty cool thing about our industry. We do collaborate quite often in ways that can bring more attention to and shed more light on important issues."
City Built Brewery is brewing “People Power,” a hazy IPA available at the pub in cans and on draft. Brewery Vivant and Broad Leaf collaborated on the release of “Vote,” a dry hopped lager with Cryo Loral and Huell Melon hops, available on draft, in cans, and for retail purchase at the pub or via curbside pick-up. The label includes the web address of the State of Michigan Voter Information Center, where residents can register to vote, check to see if they are registered, track the status of their absentee ballots, or find their polling locations.
“The beer itself is the message,” Spaulding says. “We all have a voice. It’s a matter of choosing to use it. The concept behind the People Power Beer Campaign is to encourage everyone in this country to vote because that is one of our rights that we should not take for granted.”
The other two Michigan breweries involved in the campaign are Eastern Market Brewing Company in Detroit and HOMES Brewery in Ann Arbor. Eastern Market’s People's Power Beer is a New England IPA brewed with Columbus, Chinook, Idaho 7, Cascade, and Simcoe hops. HOMES’ brew is a double dry-hopped IPA with mosaic and trident hops.
A century-old, non-partisan non-profit organization, the ACLU addresses pressing civil liberties issues regardless of person or party. Today, it is at the forefront of racial justice efforts, as well as protecting voting, workers, immigration, women’s, LGBTQ, and human rights. ACLU of Michigan’s current focus spans a list of 21 human rights issues.
“Breweries are an important part of our communities in that we are in the unique position of providing a public space for all who come through our doors while also having an inclination to raise awareness of the issues facing our society,” Spaulding concludes. “One nice thing about being in a leadership position is to be able to find opportunities to reach our audience with things we think are important.”
Written by Estelle Slootmaker, Development News Editor
Photos courtesy Brewery Vivant, City Built Brewing Company, HOMES Brewery, and Eastern Market Brewing Company