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New Brunswick brewery hopes to pour support into Ukrainian community

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WATCH: A Ukrainian New Brunswicker is working with a brewery in the Saint John area to pour support into her home country, with a fundraising lager set to go on sale in the spring. – Mar 16, 2022

A brewery in Rothesay is hoping for an outpouring of support when it launches a beer aimed at raising awareness and funds for Ukraine.

Foghorn Brewing Co. announcing “Razom” this week — a Ukraine-inspired lager with an inspirational purpose.

“In Ukraine it means ‘together’,” says Tatiana Vasylyeva of the beer’s name.

Estabrooks says a lot of work went into creating the label for Razom. Courtesy: Tatiana Vasylyeva

When it’s ready, one dollar from each can sold — and a portion of the overall proceeds — will make its way overseas wherever Vasylyeva and other members of the Ukrainian community can help.

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Read more: Fundraiser organized by the Ukrainian Club of Moncton draws large crowd

Vasylyeva, who was born and raised in Odesa, Ukraine, but now calls New Brunswick home, drafted the idea in partnership with Foghorn.

“When this tragedy happened, when this invasion of Ukraine happened, we’ve all risen up to the occasion,” she says.

“It’s my identity. Ukraine is my home. It’s almost like someone is trying to attack your entire definition of self.”

She says her mother, who lives in Canada now, was in the country when Russian troops first invaded.

“I got my mom out,” she says.

“And as she was mid-air to Montreal, they started bombing Ukraine.”

Read more: Injured Canadian says there was no warning ahead of missile attack on Ukrainian base

Vasylyeva is a certified beer judge who was at one-time co-owner of a brewery herself.

She says after watching the news out of Eastern Europe non-stop for a few days, she reached out to contacts she’s made in the industry to see if something like this was possible.

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Andrew “Esty” Estabrooks, co-owner of Foghorn, says hopping on board was a no-brainer.

“It’s one of those things where you want to do something, you’re not sure how to do something and when someone presents you with an idea like this you say absolutely,” Esty says.

Vasylyeva, a certified beer judge, says she tried Razom this weekend. Facebook/Foghorn Brewing Co.

They turned to the country itself when formulating the brew.

“In Ukraine you can find a variety of beer styles but mostly lagers,” says Vasylyeva.

She describes Razom as a malt-forward lager with a bready malt flavour, notes of burnt sugar and crème brulee and a “restrained bitterness”.

“It’s absolutely delicious,” Vasylyeva says.

“I really hope people are going to enjoy it while also contributing to the Ukrainian community.”

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The brew is expected to be ready in April when it will be available at Foghorn and select other taprooms across New Brunswick.

The team plans to share updates on their Facebook page.

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