On April 16, Bent Water Brewing Co. in Lynn will release a new locally brewed beer that the company hopes will have a national impact. The beer, a dry-hopped pilsner called Common Hope, will be sold at the brewery taproom as well as bars and restaurants across eastern Massachusetts. A portion of the proceeds will donated to the Michael J. Fox Foundation. which aims to help find a cure for Parkinson’s Disease by funding research efforts.
But Bent Water’s beer is just the beginning. The brewery has released its recipe for the Common Hope beer and is asking other craft breweries around the country to brew and release their own iterations of the same fundamental formula. Each version of the beer will be sold under the name Common Hope, and feature the same labels, customized with each brewery’s individual logo. Participating breweries are asked to contribute from 5% to 10% of the proceeds from the beer to the foundation.
Bent Water has long been involved in raising funds for Parkinson’s research and awareness of the disease, a passion driven by employees’ experiences with family and friends grappling with the disease. In addition to raising money, the brewery hopes to help break the silence that often surrounds a disease little-understood by the general public. The project hopes to make people aware of the challenges Parkinson’s patients face, but also of the fact that they can still live satisfying, vibrant lives despite their diagnosis.
“People sit down over a beer all time and have a conversation, so why not have a conversation about Parkinson’s Disease?” says Bent Water communications director Robin Leopoldo.
So far 17 breweries have signed on, including Boston’s Harpoon, Cape Cod Beer from Hyannis, and other brewers from New England, New York, New Jersey, Missouri, Florida, and Tennessee. And Leopoldo expects even more breweries to join the initiative.
“Our hope is for this to grow throughout the year,” she says. “We will be doing a second push in October.”
The complete list is available at commonhopebeer.com.
Flight Deck Brewing of Brunswick, Maine will release its version of Common Hope later this month. And it’s already been a rousing success: When the pre-sale was announced, 100% of the kegs on offer were sold within 24 hours. “We’ve had an enormously positive reaction to the beer launch,” says Nate Wildes, managing partner at the brewery. “That gives us hope that there is great support for raising a glass, to raise awareness.”
The Common Hope initiative has also partnered with the Resource Label Group, which has agreed to provide discounted pricing on label printing and to make a donation to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for each Common Hope label order.
If beer isn’t your thing, or if getting to a participating brewery isn’t in the schedule, you can still donate online.