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December 20, 2012

Ommegang offers relief for Barrier Brewing Company

Brewery Ommegang has partnered with Hurricane Sandy-damaged Barrier Brewing Company on Long Island, to create Barrier Relief Ale, a Belgian-style IPA, according to a media release from Ommegang.

Using Barrier’s recipe, Ommegang is brewing about 400 kegs of the collaboration ale. Barrier Relief Ale will be sold under the Ommegang label and distributed in Barrier’s market in New York City and the surrounding area. Profits will benefit Barrier as they restore their brewery.

“We’re rebuilding. We’ve reordered all of the equipment that we need to be operational again,” Barrier’s founder, Evan Klein said in the release. “The goal is to be up and running before the year is out.” The company was able to salvage some of its finished beer and now has limited distribution near Oceanside.

Sandy caused nearly $100,000 worth of damage to Barrier Brewing, which has been operating at its new location on Long Island’s South Shore for just four months.

After the storm, Simon Thorpe, president and chief executive officer of Brewery Ommegang and Duvel Moortgat USA, released this statement to the craft brewing industry, “Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, N.Y., is fortunate to have been undamaged by Hurricane Sandy. After seeing the devastation wreaked across the mid-Atlantic and Northeast, we’d like to offer our assistance and support to other breweries that may have suffered from the storm.”

Klein contacted Ommegang and the breweries decided to collaborate on a beer.

Barrier’s Craig Frymark said the opportunity to work with Ommegang is a positive outcome of the storm. 

“Ommegang is a brewery we’ve always been inspired by and have admired and to actually be here on the ground making a beer with them is a really exciting thing.”

Ommegang began brewing Barrier Relief Ale on Nov. 28 during a visit from the Barrier team. Made with an 200 pounds of hops, the ale is being called “the hoppiest beer” ever brewed at Ommegang, but the collaboration is in keeping with the innovative character of the craft brewing community, the release stated.

“It was natural to offer a helping hand and foster the communal spirit of the industry,” Thorpe said in the release. “The opportunity to brew a beer so outside our traditional style just made it intriguing to us.”

Barrier Brewing Company will be at Ommegang on Thursday, Dec.13, to taste the ale before distribution begins at the beginning of January.

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