Kosciusko Kettleheads aren’t letting the COVID-19 pandemic stop them from following through with their motto, “Brew Good, Do Good.”
With the help of HopLore Brewing in Leesburg, the homebrew club has found a way to raise money this holiday for Combined Community Services.
HopLore co-owner Stefan King said Kettleheads President Jason Rich “brought an idea to us because of how messed up 2020 has been with the COVID situation. They raise funds for CCS every year, and they thought, ‘Well, we can’t have our brewfest, so maybe let’s talk about maybe making a beer.’”
King was up for the idea.
“It’s been rough for everybody, but the thing I always feel like is there’s always someone who has it worse off, so we decided we’d donate all the materials, and all the proceeds from this particular beer are going to CCS,” King said.
Rich described that beer as a “gingerbread spiced porter, which is a dark ale.”
He said it was King’s idea to come up with three beers, two of which HopLore was going to sell anyway. For the gingerbread spiced porter – “Can’t Catch Me!” – the Kettleheads voted on which of the three beers was to be made first.
“Overwhelmingly, they picked this one. So, we provided a recipe. Stefan scaled it up and made it brewhouse ready. And we came here and helped him make it. And it is delicious,” Rich said.
HopLore has two more beers the brewing company is releasing this week where 50 cents of every beer purchased is going to CCS as well. King said one is called “A Gose of Christmas Past,” a cranberry/orange gose made with sea salt, which tastes like a Christmas punch; and the other is “Santa’s Milk and Cookies,” which is a horchata-inspired cream ale, and will taste like drinking milk and eating Snickerdoodles.
King said they’re not limiting any quantities a person can buy.
“If you want to buy everything we have, great, because it all goes to CCS,” he said.
“Can’t Catch Me!” can be purchased at HopLore, 100 Old Ind. 15, Leesburg, for carryout or on tap; or at different bars and restaurants throughout the Michiana area that will carry it on tap, with proceeds also going to CCS.
The other two beers will be in-house exclusives, meaning a person will have to get them for carry-out or on draft at HopLore. Cost for carryout is $15 for a four-pack of the gingerbread spiced porter and the other two are $8 for a 32-ounce crowler. All three will be on draft this upcoming weekend. They will be available “until they sell out,” King said, noting there is a limited amount of the gose and creme ale.
“The ‘Can’t Catch Me!,’ the gingerbread porter, is the one that we did the most production of, so that one should last through the month of January, but the other two, I can’t make any promises if they’ll last through December,” King said.
“Can’t Catch Me!” was released Saturday, “Gose of a Christmas Past” will be released Wednesday and “Santa’s Milk and Cookies” will be released Saturday, along with HopLore’s “Amish Crack,” which is their annual Christmas beer.
Rich said HopLore has done the majority of the work on the beers and it was “much appreciated. We did not want to end this year not living up to our motto, which is ‘Brew Good, Do Good.’ This was about our only chance to be able to provide money to charity, other than what we donate to them at our Christmas party.”
He said they didn’t have a goal as to how much they’d like to raise. Whatever they raise, they’ll be happy with.
“Hopefully, we’ll have a brewfest next year, and, who knows? This could be an annual tradition with HopLore,” Rich said.
King said they were asked about that by another club member last week, “And I don’t see why not.”
“This has been too much fun,” Rich said.
“This time of year, for a lot of people, is the toughest time of the year. When things get really tight, they’re trying to provide stuff for their families, but not only in the normal, but also gifts for Christmas and stuff like that. Heating bills go up like crazy. So, I think that this time of year is a great time of year to put something like this out because that’s when the help is needed the most,” King said.
He encouraged people to come in and taste it because they won’t be disappointed, especially if they like gingerbread.
“This is a gingerbread beer,” King said.
HopLore is open Wednesday and Thursday, noon to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, noon to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.
The beers also can be purchased on the website at www.hoplore.com.
“With the current situation with COVID, some people would prefer to do delivery. This will be available, along with the other beers, on Saturday online. And we can actually deliver as well,” King said, noting they can deliver up to 15 miles.