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Brooklyn Brewery launches Brewing for Impact initiative

Breweries are uniting under new initiative Brewing for Impact, which will see breweries around the world trial fonio. 
 
An ancient West African grain which is still used widely in African cooking, fonio has “huge untapped brewing potential”, according to the collective. The project is led by Garrett Oliver (pictured), brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery. This year, Oliver celebrates his 30th anniversary at the company, having joined in 1994. 
 
Brewing for Impact brings together breweries from seven countries, and includes Brooklyn Brewery, Carlsberg, Guinness, and more. The breweries will produce a limited-edition series of fonio-brewed beers. 
 
Oliver commented: “In some ways Brewing for Impact is the most important work I've ever done. If what weve started truly catches hold in the industry, we will hopefully start seeing the wider use of a grain that has no need for irrigation, fertilisers, pesticides, or other chemical inputs. 
 
“It also supports soil regeneration while providing a vital source of income for thousands of smallholder farms in West Africa, which are predominantly female-led — all while making some really fantastic beers. What more can you ask for?”
 
Through Brewing for Impact, Oliver is hoping to highlight the sustainable, adapatable, and resilient nature of fonio.
 
The series of fonio beers will begin rolling out in April 2024, beginning with a Brooklyn A Dakar pilsner by Maison Kalao in Senegal, using Senegalese-grown fonio. The debut will be followed by unique expressions from further breweries in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, the United States, China, and Ireland. 
 
A portion of the proceeds from all the beers released under Brewing for Impact will go to the Michael James Jackson Foundation for Brewing and Distilling, an organisation founded by Oliver to support Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) in the brewing and distilling industries. 

24 April 2024 - Lucy Schofield