A Worthy Cause to Drink for

Review of a ten-pack celebrating the Restore Our Earth Collab Fest 2022, and the various partners, charities and brewers that made it happen.

On the penultimate night of a much-needed staycation away from home in Crouch End in August 2022, my dear friend Takeover had a selection of ten craft beers delivered to the parental abode of our brother-in-arms Louie Jenkini, where I had spent a wonderful week in decompression mode. The selection was ordered through Beer52, a popular online subscription service that sends its 15,000 paying members worldwide eight new craft beers a month for a set fee.

A variety of mixed cases have also been made available for enthusiasts who, like Takeover, happen to stumble across the website and prefer not to commit to any subscription fees straight away. For instance, he himself had been enticed to place the order when glimpsing a small, exotic selection of stouts and porters included in his eventual case of choice.

Having a case of beer delivered to your doorstep should be a fairly straightforward procedure but the margins for error were considerable on the day in question. Takeover had accidentally filled in the wrong house number on the order form and although he had noticed his error in a reminder sent to him 24 hours before the case was due to be delivered, he was unable to correct the address online at that point.

In no mood for elaborate communications, he had sent Beer52 a short message informing them that he would not be ‘home’ and that the case was to be left with the neighbours, i.e. the Jenkinis. Now, wouldn’t you know it, the Jenkinis and their actual neighbours don’t get along very well; if the delivery guy were to ring their doorbell first, we would never get to enjoy those beers ˗ Louie was sure of it!

To quote Mark Twain: “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.” On the Monday evening in question, Takeover had literally just entered the Jenkini household when the doorbell rang once more; all he had to do was turn around, open the door, and extend his arms in order to take possession of the case. Keen to sample the entire range of brews it contained, even if this meant having to split each can three ways, we decided to consume them by order of ABV, starting with the lowest percentage and gradually working our way up.

I also suggested we rate each beer on a scale of one to five, purely so that I might someday present those scores in a chronicle about an impromptu tasting session. None of us showed much interest in the complimentary issue of Ferment Magazine ˗ subtitled “Adventures in the Global Craft Alcoholic Movement” ˗ that had come with the beers.

It’s a good thing I took the magazine with me when I left Crouch End, for much of what you are about to read is essentially a reworded summary of its contents. It’s a shame Louie, Takeover and I did not take the time to leaf through the provided copy more attentively, for it would have added another dimension to our little tasting session. Who knows, had we actually been aware of the event we were supporting by way of Takeover’s purchase, we may have left the kitchen table with a better feeling that night.

The indispensable Ferment Magazine Issue 79

The Event

Issue 79 of Ferment Magazine is dedicated to the Restore Our Earth Collab Fest 2022, a joint effort between Beer52, The Garden Brewery and sixteen breweries from sixteen different countries. Primarily geared at raising awareness among craft brewers about the steps they can take to minimise their environmental footprint, the collaboration also helped raise money for seven environmental charities by distributing 1.5 million cans of the sixteen brews selected for the occasion.

The charities were chosen in cooperation with Tythe, a platform for charitable giving that allows donors to browse its portfolio of affiliated environmental organisations and adjust their contributions to cater the causes most important to them. All these organisations have proven track records in achieving measurable as well as meaningful results across the climate action spectrum; the seven that were involved in Restore Our Earth are no exception.

The Charities

Blue Marine Foundation

The ocean is our earth’s largest carbon sink. Capable of absorbing around 30% of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere and capturing 90% of the excess heat generated by these emissions, the complex web of marine ecosystems at its core also generates half the oxygen “we” ˗ and by that I mean all of mother nature’s creatures ˗ need in order to exist.

That is why we should all be concerned about the fact that “our” ˗ as in the human race’s ˗ preferred way of existing is threatening the very existence of those ecosystems. Acidification, agricultural pollution, an excess of eight million tonnes of plastic per year, overfishing; the ocean is being stripped of life and losing its resilience to other threats as a result. Not only does this curtail its ability to provide the vital function of stabilising our climate, it also puts the lives of billions of people who depend on seafood for protein at risk.

The Blue Marine Foundation’s mission is to ensure at least 30% of the world’s oceans are under effective protection by 2030 and the other 70% are managed in a responsible way. Over the past twelve years the charity has secured commitments to protect over 4,000,000 km² of ocean, developed models of sustainable fishing, and restored many a critical marine habitat in the process.

Some of its more recent accomplishments include the establishment of six new protected areas in the Maldives, encompassing coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass meadows.


On a quest to reverse two centuries’ worth of carbon emissions, Carbon180 works closely with policymakers, entrepreneurs, and peer organisations throughout the United States of America to design policies which would allow carbon removal solutions to be applied on a massive scale. For the alarming truth is, reducing greenhouse gas emissions does very little to lessen the residues of the two trillion tons of carbon that have already been pumped into the atmosphere since the start of the industrial revolution.

There appears to be a silver lining, however ˗ carbon removal methods that can pull yesterday’s emissions out of the sky and store them in soils, rocks, trees, and oceans. Bringing existing methods to scale and stimulating the further development of promising solutions could very well bring about the quick fix we ˗ the human race ˗ so desperately want and need.

Over the last seven years, Carbon180’s advocacy has helped draw attention to the concept of carbon removal, catalysing billions in new investments and pioneering some of the first major federal incentives. There is still some way to go for the charity’s vision of an atmosphere free of legacy carbon emissions truly starts taking shape but it may just prove to be pivotal for the survival of future generations.


This UK-based charity’s core belief is that the environmental crisis is too comprehensive for a bottom-up approach to be effective and that urgent change requires use of the law to create industry transformation and government accountability.

Apart from advising decision-makers on matters related to the drafting and implementation of environmental policies, ClientEarth also trains legal and judicial professionals on how to navigate the system if there is reason to suspect these policies are not being administered properly. Laws are only as effective as those who enforce them, after all.

A team of over 200 individuals, active in over 50 countries, is working hard to address a long list of pressing environmental challenges and create the systemic change required to combat them. At the rate needed, whenever possible, because time is of the essence.

Rainforest Trust UK

As well as storing billions of tonnes of carbon, the world’s rainforests produce 20% of our planet’s oxygen, stabilise global weather patterns, provide habitat for thousands of endangered species and sustain the livelihoods of millions of indigenous people. Nevertheless, it is estimated that current rates of tropical deforestation account for as much as 15% of net global carbon emissions ˗ equal to the emissions of every car, bus, truck, train, ship and plane on earth.

Unsurprisingly, studies have shown that halting this tragically self-destructive trend and allowing for regrowth could mitigate up to 50% of net carbon emissions within the next thirty years. In short, saving the rainforests is one of the most cost-effective modes of climate action.

Rainforest Trust has been working with indigenous communities and local NGOs for thirty-five years to implement its unique, cost-effective conservation model. It all starts with the identification of critical sites that provide permanent refuge for endangered species but are being threatened by human activities such as agriculture or industrial logging. The charity then proceeds to work with local communities and conservationists to secure long-term protection through the establishment of legally recognised nature reserves.

These reserves are exemplary models of conservation management, with surveys showing that 99% of the more than 81,000 km² of threatened rainforest under the Trust’s safeguarding has remained intact.

Sand Dams Worldwide

Dedicated to supporting and empowering some of the world’s poorest communities, this UK charity works with locally based partners to help the inhabitants of vulnerable dryland outposts build their own sand dams. It’s hard to imagine that, in this day and age, millions of women and children living in arid regions around the globe still spend up to twelve hours a day collecting water. In these regions, it is common for vital topsoils to be washed away during one or two short periods of heavy rainfall per year. Most of this water ends up in the ocean, the rest quickly dries up.

By building a reinforced concrete wall across a seasonal riverbed, a reservoir of water from rainstorms and the soils it carries takes shape during rainy seasons. The sand in the water sinks, most of the water and silt will end up flowing over the dam. At a certain point ˗ usually within two or three rainy seasons, depending on its size ˗ the dam will be filled with sand.

The volume of sand behind the dam holds as much as 40% of the water it collects, which is protected against evaporation and filtered clean. Pipework built into the dam allows this water to be accessed via tap or animal trough, or pumped out of the shallow wells that form in the recharged aquifer. A single sand dam can capture up to 40,000,000 litres of water, thus securing more than a thousand people with an adequate year-round supply.

But that’s only the beginning. Over time, groundwater levels are raised by capturing rainwater that would otherwise be lost as run-off. This subsequently allows water to seep into the soil, resulting in vegetation recovery, a reduction in erosion and, ultimately, the restoration of degraded land. The average cost of a sand dam is supposedly anywhere between €25,000 and €40,000, a minimal investment for a structure with a lifespan exceeding fifty years that comes with such broad benefits.

Sand Dams Worldwide currently runs programmes in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, working through local partners to advise communities on sustainable agricultural techniques, developing seed banks, and planting drought-resistant crops and trees.

Surfers Against Sewage

What started as a grassroots movement some thirty years ago ˗ when a group of Cornwall-based surfers regularly found themselves manoeuvring through raw sewage whilst out on the water and decided to do something about it ˗ has matured into one of the UK’s most successful environmental charities. Surfers Against Sewage has grown loud, proud and strong thanks to the passion and perseverance of its members, applying collective power to drive change through tireless campaigning on matters concerning ocean preservation and water quality.

Ongoing campaigns demand an end to sewage discharge into UK bathing waters as well as plastic pollution on UK beaches by 2030, high protection status for 30% of the ocean and all UK Marine Protected Areas in that same year, and most ambitiously, the immediate adoption of ocean-based solutions that would contribute to the UK achieving net zero status by 2030 too.

Sustainable Food Trust

The good folks at the Sustainable Food Trust are on a mission to accelerate mankind’s transition to more sustainable food and farming systems; the type of systems that obey the laws of return and garner regenerative qualities. The organisation’s day-to-day activities are centred on breaking down the barriers that have prevented the wider implementation of more sustainable food production systems in the first place. At the foundation of these barriers is a lack of understanding of what sustainable production entails, what it is exactly that constitutes a healthy diet, and how these two aspects of everyday life can be better integrated.

In their bid to get everybody on the same page, the Sustainable Food Trust focuses on a number of key themes that have unique as well as crucial roles to play in deepening our understanding of sustainable food systems and their implementation. Such themes include local food systems, sustainable livestock, measuring sustainability, and true cost accounting. The organisation is also a longstanding member of the adroitly-named Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics and campaigns for the reduction of antibiotic use in farmed animals.

The Beers

Now that you have an infinitely better idea of the cause behind our mixed case of beer than Louie, Takeover and I did when we kicked off the tasting session, we can safely proceed to the main course. Before I do, however, please note that it has been over 18 months since the tasting session at the Jenkini kitchen table took place and that none of the notes I scribbled onto the scorecard we used are even mildly lucid. In that sense, I was also dependent on my copy of Ferment Magazine Issue 79 to help evoke vague memories of the ten brews we sampled that night through the descriptions provided. Regardless, I am sure you will find the scores we gave sufficiently telling.

The delivered selection of Restore Our Earth brews.

1. Hércules Session IPA (4% ABV)

Hércules is a small craft brewery hailing from the city of Querétaro in the semi-desert or Baijo region of Central Mexico. Founded in 2011 and based in an old textile factory once known as “Fabrica Textil El Hércules”, the brewery has succeeded in making this local institution its own by integrating a beer garden, music venue, hotel, artisan shops, and co-working space into the building. Over the past few years, it has taken on an increasingly active role in tackling local environmental issues too.

For instance, in 2019 the brewery started a community-based initiative aimed at restoring a heavily polluted local river subject to unregulated waste disposal by farmers, organising a total of nine river clean-up gatherings that attracted over 2000 people who in their turn collected eight tonnes of waste. Furthermore, Hércules uses water heating panels powered by solar energy to reduce its steam energy usage by as much as a third and utilises a biomass boiler to generate the rest of its energy demand.

Using such modern techniques to fuel the production process, a wide variety of brews are prepared ˗ traditional Bavarian and Bohemian-style lagers; Farmhouse, Belgian and British Ales; barrel-aged beers; Lambic-inspired, spontaneously fermented beers; you name it!

The Hércules Session IPA is described as a light, bright, crisp and refreshing number with big tropical notes of pineapple in combination with plenty of hops. I do recall the hints of pineapple being interesting, albeit slightly synthetic. All in all, not the most promising of starts but no immediate cause for concern.


Louie ˗ 2.5 / 5

Takeover ˗ 2.5 / 5

The Author ˗ 3 / 5

2. Qajaq Munich Helles (4.4% ABV)

The Inuit word “qajaq” will undoubtedly appear more familiar were it spelled “kayak”. It is believed that these slim miniature boats have been used by local communities in Greenland for 4000 years or more, becoming a national symbol in the process. Before Qajaq burst onto the scene, large volumes of Carlsberg and Tuborg were shipped in from Denmark using much bigger and environmentally destructive vessels.

Transporting the necessary raw ingredients to brew beer locally, on the other hand, leads to reduced impact in terms of carbon emissions. The brewery strives to be as green as possible in other areas too, from little things like wearing biodegradable rubber gloves on the work floor to using a bottle washer to cleanse the reusable two-way bottles its brews are commonly sold in.

Presented as a clean, crisp lager with bready and herbal notes, Qajaq’s classic Munich Helles is brewed with the finest German pilsner malt, Bavarian lager yeast, and endowed with generous aromas of the Hallertauer Mittelfrüh hop. I especially liked the image on the can ˗ a virgin white glacier with ragged edges rising out of tranquil teal waters to pierce a low-lying sun that hovers above the arctic horizon; Louie and Takeover were slightly more enthusiastic about the overall taste.


Louie ˗ 3 / 5

Takeover ˗ 3.5 / 5

The Author ˗ 2.5 / 5

3. Juguetes Perdidos Hazy Pale Ale (4.4% ABV)

In contrast to the first two brews on the list, all three of us amateur connoisseurs in attendance were in complete agreement over this here purported juicy thirst-quencher packed with coconut, mango and grapefruit notes. Brewed with tropical El Dorado hops in the whirlpool and Citra Spectrum in the fermenter for a smooth and bright hop character, only to be bumped up with a bit of Sabro for some of that coconut goodness, Juguetes Perdidos (Lost Toys) Craft Brewery’s hazy pale ale certainly sounds like my kind of gustatory feast.

Sadly, my recollections of how much I enjoyed the experience are limited to a solid score and a scribbled note to self that the beer’s fruity, citrusy nose was to my liking. I do vaguely recall being amused by the image of a Pink Fairy Armadillo on the can ˗ under the assumption that it served as a reference to the brewery’s name ˗ and the basic facts imparted about the animal, like its top speed (2 miles per hour!).

Based in the Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires, Juguetes Perdidos was founded in 2015 by three close friends with a wealth of experience in home brewing. In less than a decade, the brewery has become one of the most esteemed independent players within the South American beer community and the first craft brewery on the continent to acquire a coolship. This type of open fermenter, lined with iron or copper for better thermal conductivity, stimulates natural inoculation so as to create spontaneous fermentation and ˗ in the hands of the Juguetes Perdidos crew ˗ aid the development of some pretty wild fermentation beers.

Encouraged by the popularity of its brews and growing mainstream recognition of its name, the brewery expanded operations to Spain in 2022.

Juguetes Perdidos is now also using its name as a tool to raise awareness on a variety of social and environmental issues, like the protection of Argentina’s potable water reserves. In a bid to reduce its own environmental footprint, the brewery donates its spent grain to farmers as livestock feed, transports its produce in reusable steel kegs, and only uses natural cleaning products.


Louie ˗ 3.5 / 5

Takeover ˗ 3.5 / 5

The Author ˗ 3.5 / 5

4. Stu Mostów Farmhouse Pale (4.5% ABV)

This easy drinking farmhouse pale ale ˗ allegedly ˗ of Polish origin is fermented with a saison yeast for fruity and spicy yeast esters as well as a dry finish, then dry hopped with newly enhanced Calista hops from Germany for aromas of apricot, raspberry, and cherry. According to the score card, Louie, Takeover and I were not convinced. Louie did like the can though, its main feature being the pixelated figure of a yellow moose against a black background.

The Stu Mostów brewery’s aim is to promote sustainable development and a lifestyle through which people generate as little waste as possible. Since its inception, the brewery has undertaken efforts to minimise losses in raw materials, semi-finished products, and post-production waste by donating spent yeast and grain to local farmers. Energy costs have been reduced by implementing, among others, methods to recover heat while the wort is cooking, and energy recycling systems such as pre-heating beer that is about to go through the pasteuriser with the beer coming out of the pasteuriser.

Since the brewery is clearly intent on practising what it preaches, I am more inclined to overlook the misleading promotion of its farmhouse pale at the time of writing than I was at the time of drinking. I cannot speak for Louie and Takeover.


Louie ˗ 1.5 / 5

Takeover ˗ 1.5 / 5

The Author ˗ 2.5 / 5

5. Tanker Wheat Ale (4.5% ABV)

It takes anywhere between 300 and 700 litres of water to produce 100 litres of beer. As a means of minimising water waste, Estonian powerhouse Tanker Brewery has upgraded its brewing and clean-in-place systems ˗ CIP for short; a method used to clean the interior surfaces of pipes, vessels, and tanks without disassembly, and often without manual intervention.

The brewery has also taken measures to ensure its produce is transported as efficiently as possible in a bid to reduce carbon emissions. By installing a canning line on its own premises, trucks need no longer make round trips to other facilities for that purpose. Moreover, the aluminium cans themselves can be recycled endlessly.

Its flagship beer, Sauna Session, even contains birch whisks from trimmed trees that would normally be disposed of as waste. While Tanker’s size and turnover have allowed the brewery to invest heavily in technical upgrades, its capacity to turn disposable birch snippets into beer proves that there are many paths to making modern-day brewing practices more sustainable.

Tanker’s subtle and light summery wheat ale that channels a mild breeze from hop valleys and wheat fields ˗ or so it is suggested on the can ˗ was neither refreshing nor easily drinkable. Or maybe two sips’ worth is insufficient to reach a well grounded conclusion. The tasting notes included in Ferment Magazine mention a nice kick of citrus peels and yeasty dough followed by some sharp pepper and clove notes in the aftertaste; interesting combination, but the description doesn’t exactly get my mouth watering. It seems the taste didn’t really agree with any of us.


Louie ˗ 1.5 / 5

Takeover ˗ 2.5 / 5

The Author ˗ 2.5 / 5

6. Brussels Beer Project Milkshake IPA (4.7% ABV)

With the halfway mark behind us and few highlights to show for it, scepticism had started creeping in. Providentially, this sweet, full-bodied vegan IPA had all the ingredients to be a potential game changer. Brewed with El Dorado and Mosaic Spectrum hops for bright pineapple and citrus aromas, complimented with the vanilla, passion fruit and mango added to the brite tank, and fermented with a traditional English ale yeast, it was arguably the most outrageous number our mixed case had to offer.

An established entity in Belgium’s craft beer scene, the Brussels Beer Project (BBP) can be considered somewhat of a pioneer when it comes to circular economy brewing. One of its earliest efforts, Babylone, was made using unsold bread and proved to be the first of many upcycling projects in the nine years since.

On top of recycling over 10 tonnes of unsold bread annually, the brewery’s new, second home in the Brussels district of Port Sud is rigged out to comply with best practices in terms of water and energy use. For instance, hot brew water is re-used to heat the building and the electricity consumed is largely generated by the brewery’s own solar panels as well as wind energy from the local grid. Furthermore, BBP continually works with accredited third party consultants to track and lower the environmental impacts of its operations.

Although I applaud BBP’s dedication to the cause, the score card doesn’t lie ˗ I was greatly dismayed by this one. It might have been a question of unrealistic expectations, it could just as easily have been a matter of taste; whatever it was, our tasting session had reached a definite low point for me personally.


Louie ˗ 2 / 5

Takeover ˗ 2.5 / 5

The Author ˗ 1.5 / 5

7. The White Hag Smash IPA (4.8% ABV)

This award-winning craft brewery from Sligo, Ireland, has been brewing a range of contemporary brews that are heavily influenced by ancient styles since 2014. Named after a mythical being or essence akin to Mother Nature, some of The White Hag’s mixed fermentation beers ˗ like its Heather Ale and Púca Dry Hopped Lemon Sour ˗ hadn’t been made in hundreds of years. According to the annals of history, that is.

The Smash IPA consists of a single malt and one type of hop, namely Irish Ale malt and Mosaic. These hops are used throughout the entire brewing process, from kettle to dry hop, in order to showcase every aspect of the variety. Louie, Takeover and I were told to expect notes of tropical passion fruit, mango, and drupes, along with a clean and balanced, bitter finish. In true fashion, I have no recollection of these specific characteristics but the score card and notes show that there was at least some truth to the aforementioned description, specifically in terms of nose and palate.

The White Hag is a member of an environmental initiative conceived by the Irish government called the Origin Green programme. Through this programme, local businesses are encouraged to incorporate more sustainable production methods into their respective operations. Participants are required to select three target areas over a period of four years.

In the case of The White Hag, the installation of a brand new kit has allowed for more efficient use of raw materials. For instance, the combined vessels of the new brewhouse are capable of extracting 95% of malt versus 80% at the old brewhouse.

The brewery has also set targets to reduce its water usage and, at the time Issue 79 of Ferment Magazine was published, were committed to installing rainwater harvesting tanks that would provide the water required for cleaning the brewery floor.

Finally, its annual international birthday festival “Hagstravaganza” has taken on a zero waste policy. Each attendee is provided with a branded glass upon entry to eliminate the use of disposable plastic cups and all the brews poured at the event are stored in reusable steel kegs. With a name that connotes reverence for our natural surroundings, I would have expected nothing less.


Louie ˗ 2.5 / 5

Takeover ˗ 3.5 / 5

The Author ˗ 3.5 / 5

8. Freddo Fox New England IPA (5.2% ABV)

Freddo Fox is a small independent brewery located in the Poblenou neighbourhood of Barcelona. Founded in early 2021, its range is focused on three styles: hop-forward beers, fresh fruit sours, and strong, dark brews. The creatively designed cans in which that range is packaged are inspired by the street art on show around the neighbourhood; the New England IPA itself comes in a can that could have easily been crafted by Piet Mondriaan, albeit in a different set of colours.

Owing to its fairly recent conception, the brewery is in a position to ensure the concept of sustainability is engrained in its processes from the get-go. Fresh, organic ingredients are sourced from local farmers where possible and spent grains are often given away as livestock feed.

In order to take advantage of the 300 days of sunny skies over Barcelona per year, a gradual conversion to heightened dependency on solar power has been kickstarted. Like many of the other breweries mentioned above, Freddo Fox has also opted to invest in stainless steel kegs over the single-use plastic kegs that are so common in the industry.

The brew in question is introduced as a punchy, hazy New England IPA with stacks of unmalted wheat and oats fermented with a blend of East Coast ale yeasts. There is also talk of melon, pear, and tangerine aromas, and a tropical hop profile supported by a full mouthfeel and high residual sweetness. My notes suggest that I uncovered a herbal element somewhere in the mix, which made the drinking experience distinctly less enjoyable. Takeover groaned that all the IPA’s were starting to make him feel bloated; Louie mentioned something about wine.


Louie ˗ 2.5 / 5

Takeover ˗ 3 / 5

The Author ˗ 2.5 / 5

9. Dádiva Cold IPA (5.8% ABV)

Cervejaria Dádiva was founded in the Brazilian state of São Paulo in 2014 and has brought forth more than 220 (!) brews ˗ each brimming with creativity, innovation, and the highest quality ingredients ˗ in less than a decade. The brewery is working hard to reduce its reliance on single-use packaging and plastics, and has been collecting empty PET kegs from clients so that these can be routed to destinations where they are disposed of in the proper manner. Needless to say, the plastic kegs are then replaced by the stainless steel variant.

As far as the Cold IPA goes, it is praised as being crisp, dry, and refreshing number containing a delicate Extra Pale Pilsner malt base with Bavarian lager yeast. Ekuanot Incognito hops in the whirlpool supposedly contribute to flavours of fresh papaya yet, once again, my notes refer to a distinct herbal element. This is likely due to generous dry hopping with Citra and Simcoe in the fermenter, adding a hint of resin to the beer’s aroma which was subconsciously transferred to the palate. Better said, that is the most plausible explanation I could come up with 18 months down the line.


Louie ˗ 3 / 5

Takeover ˗ 3 / 5

The Author ˗ 2.5 / 5

10. Lervig DDH West Coast IPA (6% ABV)

“Oh, come on ˗ not another flippin’ IPA?!”, Takeover cried in disbelief. Here was another critic who was not up for the proverbial journey back to the golden age of West Coast IPAs, where buckets of classic C-hops are poured over a robust malt base with plenty of caramel and biscuit backing up a firm bitterness. Not to mention the heavy aromas of pine, grapefruit and tangerine, which sound delightful but failed to leave a lasting impression.

Louie had all but checked out as well. After knocking back the contents of his glass, he blurted out a number between one and five ˗ probably the first number that came to mind ˗ and announced he was heading up to the penthouse to open that bottle of red with our names on it. Takeover could not even be bothered to give a score. “So many average IPAs…”, he muttered, shaking his head as he followed Louie out of the kitchen.

At that moment, I could not have agreed more. I rarely drink wine but was certainly in the mood for some then. And so we proceeded to finish the whole bottle before midnight. The Beer52 case and its contents were soon forgotten, although Takeover did make a point of getting in touch with the company to express his annoyance at having ordered a selection supposedly rich in porters and stouts only to be saddled with an ensemble of average IPAs. If I remember correctly, they responded apologetically and even felt compelled to partially reimburse Takeover’s expenses. In other words: No hard feelings on our account.

The Postmortem

Although I do applaud the efforts Beer52, The Garden Brewery and all their partners have made in raising awareness of sustainability issues among the international brewing community, not to mention all the brewers out there who are dedicated to tackling said issues, I am not convinced the brews sampled on that August evening in Crouch End would have tasted any better had I fully grasped the collective plight they represented at the time.

Sure, I would have been able to consciously appreciate the encouraging stories behind those brews to a greater degree, but I also feel those types of considerations should not weigh too heavily during a tasting session. Just because I support your cause does not necessarily mean I’ll like your beer, it’s as simple as that.

Nevertheless, the Restore Our Earth Collab Fest 2022 was certainly a worthy cause to drink for. I must admit that I struggled to find any online sources covering the initiative’s end results, or to what extent the minimum €30,000 pledged for donation by Beer52 and The Garden Brewery has been allocated. However, The Garden Brewery website does provide an estimate of some of the quantifiable impacts of the initial €24,000 that was donated to the seven aforementioned charities:

  • 3,600,000 m2 of land protected
  • 4,500,000 litres of clean water provided
  • Circa €45,000 worth of carbon removal funding secured
  • 19,000 oysters restored
  • 220 kg of litter removed

Some of you may feel boosted by these figures, others may argue that they are insignificant in the grander scheme of things; most of us have plenty of seemingly more pressing matters to contend with and may thus not be inclined to give them much thought at all. But just imagine that the results listed above are indeed as impressive as they appear at first glance – that we could do good by simply drinking more beer. Now, doesn’t that sound like a world you’d like to live in? Isn’t that something to strive for?

Call me idealistic, call me naïve, but Restore Our Earth is the type of cause I would gladly drink for over and over again ˗ no matter what brew is poured.

By Christopher Andel

Born in Bangkok to a Dutch father and German mother, Christopher has spent much of his life pedalling back and forth between Europe and South East Asia. A true ‘Jack of all trades’, he has worked as an environmental consultant, language tutor, and roadie for the Chippendales, just to name a few. He currently resides in the Netherlands and is patiently plotting a return to greener pastures.

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