Beet-based Beer, Ukrainian Dishes; Kalamazoo Turns Out to Help Ukrainians
Sometimes necessity is a mother.
"We saw that the brewery out in Ukraine, Pravda Brewery was making Molotov cocktails. They had to shutdown operations of brewing beer to do that because of everything going on, and we were sitting around thinking what can we do to help." - Kevin Homan, General Manager at Final Gravity Brewing.
And this was the genesis of the event on Saturday at Final Gravity Brewing on the north Burdick Mall in Kalamazoo.
Even on a frigid April day, the place was packed with people wanting to help, buying and sampling a beer based on a recipe shared by a Ukrainian brewer, Pravda Brewing, and noshing on the authentic Ukrainian staples being cooked by Kalamazoo chefs and crews. The food was good, solid Ukrainian fare. Nothing fancy but filling and tasty: pierogis, sausage, borscht (beet stew), with a healthy dollop of sour cream, a hearty Hunter's stew, and a rice dish similar to those served at memorial services in Slavic countries.
One person asked "does the beer taste like beets? I don't like beets.". No, safe to say, the beer tasted like....beer." Good and cold. And with a kick as it was close to 9%.
The mood was festive, although bittersweet, knowing that as this was going on, Ukrainians are dodging bomb attacks while fighting for their freedom or escaping those bombs and resettling in other countries.
Kalamazoo proved once again, that while they might not attend sporting events at times, they do show up and support an important cause.
Homan told WWMT, he hoped the event would raise several thousand dollars. One of the organizers addressed and thanked the people attending, saying "Slava, Ukrainiy" which translates to "Glory to Ukraine." On one frigid Kalamazoo afternoon, we were all Ukrainians.
Here are some more ways people can help the Ukrainians.