By David Diehl of FLX Words
Over the past year, the craft beer community has come together in many ways. Not only have brewers and breweries collaborated to support the local and national beer industries, but they’ve also helped other industries that were hit hard by the pandemic shutdown and addressed other social issues that needed attention. That support has manifested itself into beer initiatives (see: All Together and Black is Beautiful) where portions of the proceeds have been directed towards specific causes.
Currently, the Curtain Up Initiative has been created to help the creative. This beer project aims to bring attention to the live performance industry that has been hit so hard by the pandemic.
Quite a few Finger Lakes craft breweries have joined the cause, including Lucky Hare Brewing Company which has locations in Hector and Ithaca.
“Basically, the Curtain Up Project, started by Gun Hill Brewing [located in the Bronx], is geared towards the arts,” says Lucky Hare Co-Owner and Brewer Ian Conboy. “Because of their proximity to Manhattan and Broadway, and other smaller theaters, they wanted to create a beer where the proceeds were donated to support groups within the arts.”
Conboy went on to explain that Lucky Hare decided to do its part to support the local arts as well by contributing to a local school, Watkins Glen High. Specifically, it donated a new guitar to their music program. Conboy also said the funds from creating a special beer for the Curtain Up collaboration will go towards the Watkins Glen school’s theater/drama department.
As I write this, the Curtain Up Initiative has also teamed up with Drink Like a Girl (an event company founded in the Finger Lakes and focused on craft beer and women empowerment) to offer specialty packs of craft beer for all participants in a virtual brewfest. This pack consists of brews from 15 breweries from the tristate area—including Lucky Hare—that have produced their own version of the Curtain Up New England (NE) style IPA made especially for this event (drinklikeagirl5k.com).
“This New England IPA is triple-hopped. We were able to follow this recipe [provided by Gun Hill] to a tee,” says Conboy.
He also described Lucky Hare’s New England Hazy IPA as, “more about the hop flavor and the hop aroma—but not focused on bitterness.”
“When you are brewing this style, you don’t add hops for the bitterness component,” he explained. “There is also a higher amount of oats or white wheat because it gives the body more of a mouthfeel. It is unfiltered, smoother, creamier, and juicier—and that is why this style has accumulated such popularity over the past five years.”
Lucky Hare’s version of the Curtain Up New England IPA is currently available at both tap rooms, and if you act swiftly, you can still purchase the full pack from Drink Like a Girl.
Lucky Hare Brewing Company. luckyharebrewing.com. (607) 546-2036. 6085 Beckhorn Rd, Hector, NY 14841.
Lucky Hare Brewing Company – Press Bay: 118 W Green St Unit 6, Ithaca, NY 14850. (607) 227-2366.
It was always a goal for David Diehl to return to the Finger Lakes and make an imprint on the beer culture of the region. A Hobart & William Smith Colleges graduate, Diehl spent over a decade in Brooklyn and is excited to be back and taking on Finger Lakes craft beer reviews and commentaries for EdibleFingerLakes.com. He has also been published in Inked Magazine, YRB Magazine, Nerve.com, and The Finger Lakes Times. You can follow his work at FLXWORDS.com.