NEW YORK - The coronavirus pandemic may have closed the curtain on Broadway, but the craft beer community is banding together to raise money for struggling artists and to help keep the industry afloat. And Gun Hill Brewing Co. in the Bronx is leading the fight.
"My business partner and I are native New Yorkers and native to New York City," Gun Hill co-owner Dave Lopez said. "We felt very strongly about just how important the arts and live entertainment is to the fiber of the city."
Lopez teamed up with Broadway actors and beer enthusiasts Mark Aldrich and Jimmy Ludwig. Together, they launched a fundraising initiative called the Curtain Up Beer Project.
"The Curtain Up Beer Project came about as an offshoot of our Broadway Brews project, which started in 2016 and took the casts of hit Broadway shows and paired them up with craft breweries," Aldrich said.
The collaboration all started with a hazy IPA recipe cooked up by Lopez himself to be released by breweries across the nation.
"We're donating a portion of every four-pack that we sell out of the brewery, a portion of every pint that we sell out of the brewery, and then a portion of all cases that we sell in retail to the Actors Fund," Lopez said.
Aldrich and Ludwig, who produce a popular web series called The Happy Hour Guys, began spreading the word on social media. So far, more than 50 breweries across 11 states have joined the cause.
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"Each brewery also has the opportunity to donate to a local arts organization in their community," Ludwig said.
The duo, who has personally battled financial hardships due to COVID-19, said the vaccine is promising. Nevertheless, they agree that live entertainment still has a long road ahead.
Curtain Up is currently available for purchase at select locations in the New York City area. Check out Curtain Up Beer Project for details.
Gun Hill Brewing Co. | 3227 Laconia Avenue, Bronx, NY 10469 | 718-881-0010