The Great South Bay Brewery in Bay Shore has crafted a new limited beer with a twist – and it’s not just in the flavor.
The business’ latest brew, a raspberry New England India pale ale, is called “HOPSital Heroes” – created in honor of South Shore University Hospital staff who have been working on the front lines during the coronavirus pandemic.
In 2020, during the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team at Great South Bay Brewery started brainstorming ideas on how they could support local frontline workers, Brewery co-owner Christopher Davis said. Later that year, the concept came to them: a specialty brew dedicated to SSUH staff.
“Many of them are big fans of the brewery, so we just figured what better way to give back than by selling a beer that stands for the work that they’ve been doing,” Davis said.
Last week, the brewery announced it has canned 2,200 four-packs of the beer, each representing one employee at SSUH. All sales from the fruity brew will be donated back to the SSUH staff in the form of a $10 gift card from the Great South Bay Brewery.
Every aspect of the beer was a collaboration with the hospital, Davis said, from the label, style and flavor. Brewery staff and hospital patrons sampled brews and unanimously decided that a sweeter option would be preferred.
“HOPSital Heroes” serves as the perfect summer beverage, Davis said, as it combines fruity notes with the bitterness of traditional IPAs.
“We ultimately came up with a product that we thought would do really well,” he said.
SSUH executive director and registered nurse Donna Moravick said the hospital was the hub for many coronavirus patients during the pandemic.
“The fact of the matter is, we were in a very tough spot a year ago,” Moravick said.“Weweredesignatedbetween Brentwood, Center Islip, and Bay Shore... We just had more and more patients in the emergency room.”
For that reason, it’s even more impactful that the brew was created specifically for frontline staff, Moravick said.
“This is something so unique and different. It’s such a huge honor to see a can that has a medical caduceus on it that’s focusing on our institution. I know our staff are going to be elated," Moravick said.
Davis said the pandemic has ignited [Brewery staff ’s] passion to give back to the community, and it’s something we want to improve on going forward.” Last summer, Great South Bay Brewery sponsored the Greater Long Island Running Club’s “Aloha 5 Mile Virtual Run.” In December, the Brewery donated $1,500 to SSUH.
The beer is expected to be available at most local beverage centers across Long Island beginning this week.