Norfolk and Mexico City breweries collaborate to benefit charity

NORFOLK, Va. – A local brewery is working with a brewery in Mexico City to help benefit the charity Operation Smiles.

Coelacanth Brewing Company will be releasing its, “Against the Wall,” which is a Mexican Stout that was created in a collaboration by Cerveceria Artesanal Roberta of Mexico City.

The brewery said that it will release the Mexican Oatmeal Stout brewed with Chocolate and Chipotle Peppers on December 23, right before Christmas.

“We’ve wanted to do an authentic Mexican beer for some time.” says Kevin Erskine, owner & founder of Coelacanth Brewing “We love making beers from other
cultures, and have produced a number of beers based on Belgian, German or British beers.”

Coelacanth Brewing also added that a reason for making this beer is because Mexican Larger’s have become popular in the U.S., so bringing aboard another variety of Mexican beer could be beneficial.

“It’s become trendy to do a light lager for Cinco de Mayo, but we try to do things a little differently – we didn’t want to put another Mexican Lager into a crowded seasonal market.” Adds Erskine.

“We strive for authenticity in our beers.” Said Erskine, so he turned to his friend Fernando Bayardo, owner of Cervecería Artesanal Roberta to discuss the idea.
The two met while attending American Brewer’s Guild Brewing School (Middlebury, Vermont), one of the foremost brewing schools in the US.

The two spoke over Skype after first meeting, to create a “winter beer” concept that would work. The beer, a Mexican Oatmeal Stout brewed with Chocolate and Chipotle Peppers was turned over to Matt Topping, Coelacanth’s Head Brewer and Director of Brewing Operations, to work out the final recipe to be used by the brewery.

The companies said they decided to give the proceeds of this beer to Operation Smile, because the money will be used in a mission to Mexico.

From the charity’s official webpage, “Operation Smile is an international medical charity that has provided hundreds of thousands of free surgeries for children and young adults in developing countries who are born with cleft lip, cleft palate or other facial deformities.”