Last month, I wrote to you about the importance of early detection as our best defense against breast cancer. Today, I’m spreading the same message, but this time for the guys. According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the 2nd most common cancer among men (skin cancer is first). Over 2 million men in this country are prostate cancer survivors, so it can be successfully treated if it is detected early enough. In recent years, men’s health has gotten more press and attention, through the media, as well as organizations such as Movember, Pints for Prostates and others. Men are notoriously stubborn (although I’m sure MY wife disagrees…right?), and we often times will ignore warning signs and refuse to see a doctor. It also doesn’t help that a prostate exam isn’t exactly the most comfortable thing in the world. But by continuing to have a conversation about it and breaking down walls, we can convince more men to get tested and bite cancer in the ass (sorry about the pun) before it gets too far.
An organization that I really like is Pints for Prostates. From their website: “Pints for Prostates is a grassroots campaign that uses the universal language of beer to reach men with an important health message. Founded in 2008 by beer writer and prostate cancer survivor Rick Lyke, the campaign raises awareness among men about the importance of regular health screenings and early detection by making appearances at beer events, social networking and pro bono advertising.” I have been wearing a blue wristband for over two years now (yes, the same one) and it reads “Pint for Prostates: Get Tested. Live Longer. Drink More Beer.” Now that’s a great message! Who needs to be convinced that they need to live longer and drink more beer? (not this Brewmaster) I love their message of using beer as a wallbreaker to have an important conversation. That’s why it was important for me, as well as the rest of the Joyride team, to support Pints for Prostates during Men’s Health Awareness Month.
Last month, I wrote about how we’re donating $1 from every glass sold of our Breast in Show Saison with Grapefruit and Pink Peppercorns to breast cancer charities. For this beer, we’ll be donating $1 from every glass sold to Pints for Prostates. Both beers are currently on tap, so no matter which beer you choose, know you’ll be doing good and funding terrific organizations.
Those of you who have been coming to the brewery for awhile probably remember So Fresh and So Cream with Strawberries. This is the same recipe, only with blueberries instead. When I went on vacation in March of this year, assistant brewers Jake and Nathan were entrusted to brew a few batches by themselves for the first time. One of those batches was a recipe they designed, which was a cream ale. American Cream Ales are fantastic “lawnmower” beers, meaning they are meant to be super refreshing while still retaining more flavor than your standard American lagers. The style actually has it’s roots in the 1800’s and is one of the few American styles to survive Prohibition. They were originally produced to compete with lager breweries, so they are clean and drinkable. However, the use of ale yeasts instead of lager yeasts allow for production of these beers to be much quicker. Like American Light Lagers, Cream Ales traditionally use corn, or flaked maize, as an adjunct in the grist. However, craft brewers use maize as a flavor component while the macro brewers use it to thin out the beer and reduce cost.
For our beer, we use about 18% flaked maize, a small amount of wheat for head retention, a small amount of Munich for extra breadiness, and the rest is good old fashioned American 2 row. Three additions of Cascade hops provide a light bitterness and subtle citrus notes. For fermentation, we used our house Kölsch strain and fermented in the low 60’s. As is typical for fruit beers at Joyride, we add the fruit around high krausen to provide fruit flavor while still allowing the beer to dry out and not be overly sweet. We added 1.5 pounds of blueberry purée per gallon of beer, which provides for an amazing color and a more subtle berry flavor than that color suggests. Blueberries are not as expressive as raspberries or cherries, for example, so you need to use a lot more in order to get the same level of flavor. The final stats are 6.28% abv, 17 IBU and Purple SRM.
This was a fun beer to brew, and the fact that it is benefiting an organization that means a lot to me is extra special. Like my mom, my dad is also a cancer survivor, and early detection is to thank. He is definitely taking advantage of the whole “Live longer, drink more beer” part of my wristband :-).
As I’m finishing up this post, “What a Wonderful World” is on the radio, and I can’t help but take a deep breath and smile. It is a wonderful world, and not only do I want to make the most of my time here, I want that time to last as much as possible. So wear a blue wristband. Grow a mustache. Give money to charity. Just don’t forget about the message you are helping to spread. Go get tested. Live Longer. Drink More Beer (especially at Joyride!). Hope to see you all in the brewery soon, and Hop On!
(Here’s assistant brewer Nathan and me celebrating the release of this beer in our photo booth)