THUNDER BAY – Northwestern Ontario has a tasty way to celebrate Pride and beat the heat at the same time.
On Wednesday Sleeping Giant Brewery unveiled its limited-run Pride Lives Here beer, a dry-hopped kettle sour, complete with a rainbow-themed can that will be available at the brewery’s retail store and select pubs around town while supplies last.
Kevin Brewer, general manager at Sleeping Giant Brewery, said making the sour – a first at Sleeping Giant – was a great way to introduce a new product and support a great community cause at the same time.
The launch was done in conjunction with the Pride Lives Here campaign, launched in Fort Frances by Borderland Pride and locally by Thunder Pride.
“I think it’s important that everyone stands behind something like this. We are pretty popular here in Thunder Bay. We have a pretty good platform and I think we always use it to the best of our abilities to help every organization that might need help,” Brewer said.
Jason Veltri, chair of Thunder Pride, said it’s an exciting way to continue to spread the Pride Lives Here message, after the two organizations started it earlier this month, giving out nearly 2,000 lawn signs throughout the region.
He said the idea germinated in January, but was put on hold when COVID-19 struck.
“Sleeping Giant phoned us and said ‘We’re still prepared to do this. We love the campaign, with Pride Lives Here. Can we use that title?’ In cooperation with Borderland, we instantly agreed. So now here we are today announcing this really unique product that’s a first time for all of us,” Veltri said.
Doug Judson, co-chair of Borderland Pride, said it’s a shining example of what local companies can do to show that they’re allies.
“Hopefully for anyone who reads about this or watches it, they’ll start thinking about how can my business, how can my enterprise, how can me as a crafter or an artist, how can I start to spread this message and what it means for me in Northwestern Ontario,” Judson said.
It’s also a way to spread their message beyond the 2SLGBTQ+ community and might put a little political pressure on institutions that might be hesitant to get involved.
“It’s important for them to start thinking creatively about how we all have a responsibility to build the types of communities we want to see.”
Brewer said they made about 1,500 litres of Pride Lives Here beer, or enough for about 100 cases. He added he doesn’t expect it will last beyond two weeks. A portion of the proceeds will be donated back to Borderland Pride and Thunder Pride.