Weyerbacher Brews Althea for Breast Cancer Awareness
When most breweries are rolling out their latest fall seasonals packed with pumpkin flavors and spices, a few breweries are working to turn October in the craft beer industry pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Among the short list of breweries unveiling limited-release beers to support the cause is Weyerbacher Brewing Company in Easton, Penn. Weyerbacher has brewed up Althea, a Belgian-style dubbel created by their very own New Jersey sales representative Natalie DeChico.
DeChico got into the hobby of homebrewing with her father, and they’ve been brewing together for the past eight years. Last February she was asked to help formulate a recipe for a specialty release to help raise money for the Lehigh Valley Health Network’s (LHVN) Breast Cancer Patient Assistance Fund—and she knew exactly which recipe to use.
The father-daughter duo had just finished brewing and enjoying their holiday ale, a Belgian dubbel made with black plums. Natalie believed the beer aligned with Weyerbacher’s creative and flavorful lineup while embodying the mission of support. She took the concept to Chris Wilson and Dan Weirback, and shortly after Wilson scaled up the homebrew recipe to be brewed on their 80-batch system.
Though Natalie’s recipe used black plums to enhance the flavor, only Italian plums were available in the quantity necessary to bring the recipe to life. After looking for a name to appropriately represent the mission behind the beer, the brewery decided on Althea, which means “healing” in Greek.
Althea weighs in at 7.7 percent ABV and is available in 750 mL bottles as of October 1. For each bottle sold, Weyerbacher will donate $1 to the LHVN Breast Cancer Assistance Fund. This fund provides monetary support to breast cancer patients for expenses not covered by insurance, like childcare and groceries.
“This is a beer for giving back to the community,” said DeChico. “It is a hug from a friend to help you in your time of need. There are charities to help beat and cure cancer, but our donation, hopefully around $12,000, is for helping women and families in need through tough physical and financial times.”
Joining Althea is Free Will Brewing Company’s Saison De Rose benefitting Rena Rowan Breast Cancer Center at Penn Medicine and Yards Brewing Company’s PYNK, benefitting the Tyanna Foundation. Look out for these limited releases and others at your local craft beer store or bar and drink responsibly for a great cause!
Claire Chastain is a lifelong North Carolinian who relocated to Boulder, Colorado to become the Craft Beer Program Intern. When she’s not checking out local taprooms, you can find her on the Ultimate frisbee field or hiking with her dog.