Essex Junction, VT — 1st Republic Brewing Company has released a New England Style Double IPA, with the majority of the proceeds going to the World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit that provides meals in response to humanitarian, climate, and community crises.

Production brewer at the veteran-owned brewery, Casey Gomo, said their team saw the message put out from Jennifer Swiatek of Beverage Warehouse on March 5, asking if breweries could create a beer in a can reflecting the colors of Ukraine.

“We looked at the options, and due to the scale of our brewery, we didn’t think a new beer was quite right at the time,” said Gomo. “We didn’t have the capability.”

Instead, the brewery turned its sights to a DIPA called “Chasing Asteroids” that was already in production. The label boasts an artistic mix of blue and yellow colors for the Ukraine flag, and most noticeably, dogs with space helmets. On the side of the can reads the statement, “From the great state of Vermont, we stand with Ukraine.”

“We kept the name but changed the packaging,” said Gomo.

Gomo describes the beer as having generous amounts of Galaxy and El Dorado hops, which provide intense flavors and aromas of passionfruit, peach, pineapple, and citrus. “It’s smooth, sweet, and you really cannot perceive the hop bitterness because it is covered up by the fruity tunes,” he said.

Chasing Asteroids is on sale at $20 per 4-pack, with $13 of each purchase going to the WCK. “We wanted to support the humanitarian assistance for Ukraine and to make sure that the people being affected are getting some sort of relief. While this beer is more expensive than our other beers, once we tell people where the money is going, no one blinks an eye.”

20 cases are being sold through Beverage Warehouse and 1st RBC also kept around 20 cases and a couple of kegs to sell at their brewery. 1st RBC promoted the release on social media and already within the first hour of the launch on Saturday, they had quite a few people coming in to buy 4-packs.

Another local brewery in Jericho, Lucy & Howe Brewing released their own “Ukraine Beer” on National Beer Day and reported on social media that they had already sold out two days later and raised $1,558 that will go to the International Rescue Committee.