The Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce has announced a collaborative Malt Row beer: All Together Now. The brew will be available to purchase from Empirical Brewery on Friday, October 16th. Originally meant to be a special release for this year’s 5th Annual Ravenswood on Tap, All Together Now has been turned into a fundraiser for the Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce to help offset losses from the event.
“Ravenswood on Tap provides critical revenue for the chamber,” says Associate Director Gene Wagendorf III. “We already had this beer in the works, the question was what to do with it. We are grateful that the participating businesses came up with the idea to make it a means to fundraise for the chamber. Besides, it’s a collaboration we’ve all been eagerly waiting for.”
All Together Now is a Farmhouse Ale featuring French Barbe Rouge Hops, Pilsner Malt, Flaked Wheat, and Dextrose, aged for three months in KOVAL’s gin barrels. The gin barrel character provides notes of juniper botanicals and oak, a heavy mouthfeel with slight fruitiness, and a warming finish. Weighing in at 7.5% ABV/IBU, there are only 150 bottles of this one-off beer available. When they’re gone, they’re gone for good.
“To include KOVAL, the group developed a recipe specifically for aging in KOVAL gin barrels,” says Wagendorf III. “The gin barrels Mitch brought smelled so much like cranberry, we had to double-check they hadn’t been holding KOVAL’s Cranberry Gin.” The aroma from the barrels gave Jacob Huston, Empirical’s Head Brewer, a bolt of inspiration that “resulted in a quick recipe pivot and an exciting new concept for the beer.”
The group of Malt Row brewers came together on March 13th, 2020 to create the festival brew. What they didn’t know is that within a week, Chicago would be on lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That day would be the last time the Malt Row group was physically together and the beer’s planned release lost as all summer events were canceled. The brewers didn’t give up on the collaboration though, coming up with the idea to release All Together Now as a fundraiser for the chamber.
Participating brewers include: Brian Schnell, Band of Bohemia; Jacob Huston & Julia Astride Davis, Empirical Brewery; Matt Young, Half Acre Beer Co.; Jack LaGrow, LaGrow Organic Beer Co.; Brad Pulver, Smylie Brothers Brewing; and James Moriarty, Urban Brew Labs. Support from KOVAL Distillery was provided by Mitch Conti and Abby Boler.
All Together Now will be available for purchase directly from Empirical Brewery’s taproom on Friday, October 16th. The beer will be sold in 500ml bottles for $16 each.