US brewery launches canned beer to help laid-off workers

American brewery First Leap is releasing a one-off canned beer to raise money for laid-off workers in the hospitality industry, joining craft brewers around the world to provide help during the coronavirus crisis.

The La Grange, Georgia-based brewery will donate 10 per cent from the sales of its Gratuity lager. The light beer will be sold in multipacks of 12oz cans and is described as being made from “simple ingredients like Pilsen malt, traditional Czech Saaz hops and Wild Leap’s house yeast”.

“In times of crisis, service industry workers often are left without benefits to fall back on,” chief executive and co-founder Anthony Rodriguez said. “In the current climate, empty bars, taprooms, hotels and restaurants have left workers without the support from customers that they rely on. The purpose of Gratuity Light Beer is to provide support for these hard working people.” 

Brewers worldwide are struggling to make up for lost business after governments closed bars and pubs to promote social distancing in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Many have turned to canning beer that they would normally have sold in kegs and bottles. Others are turning their alcohol-production expertise to making canned hand sanitiser.

Wild Leap has already donated US$5,000 to non-profit organisation Bottleshare, which supports brewery workers who fall on hard times.