Raising a glass in solidarity with Ukraine is now raising funds for those affected by the Russian invasion.
Several Belfast businesses are encouraging punters to donate to the Red Cross relief effort in Ukraine simply by enjoying a beverage in their establishments.
Resist — described as a “Ukrainian anti-imperial stout” — is an open-source beer recipe developed by displaced brewers.
At a staggering 10.5% ABV, the stout has sweet notes of chocolate and coffee with an interesting beetroot twist — an Eastern-bloc food staple.
The Drinkers For Ukraine collective is encouraging breweries across the globe to “solidarity brew” the beer, with profits benefitting those in war-torn Ukraine.
The Deer’s Head in Belfast is currently pouring the beer, created by Otterbank Brewery in Muff, Co Donegal, and has had a great response to the product.
Operations manager David Neely said: “The feedback has been great. It’s a strong beer and we only do two-third pints, but it’s like the Eurovision vote — the public are behind it. For us, it was a no-brainer to get involved. All year we work with small breweries and this is a great cause.”
The beer can also be found in popular nightlife spot Ulster Sports Club, which managed to raise over £6,000 for the cause, with an all-day dance music event on Easter Sunday.
A spokesperson for the bar said: “It was a fantastic reaction. We got so much support, with so many people wanting to help out. Every DJ played for free.”
Elsewhere, drinkers can support the cause at 39 Gordon Street in the Cathedral Quarter. The cocktail bar is currently offering a ‘Ukrainian Spring Punch’, with a percentage of cocktail sales being donated.
Head bartender Nicola Campbell said: “When thinking of our summer cocktail menu, we saw the Russian Spring Punch, which we didn’t feel was appropriate. We renamed it and switched up the ingredients... As a business we wanted to do our bit. We thought it would be impactful to have the option of donating through our menu options — customers could help almost without even realising.”
The drink comprises Prosecco, berry cordial and Nemiroff vodka (the Ukrainian distillery has ceased operations for now).
“The vodka is becoming increasingly hard to source. We’re having to buy it online,” said Nicola. “[The brand] has reached out to us and they are welcoming what we’re doing. Overall, there’s been a great response towards the drink and we’re excited to see how much we’ve raised.”