A local brewery in Portsmouth launched a new beer this week called Unity. The beer aims to inspire national unity after this summer’s array of deadly mass shootings.
Every bottle of Unity beer sold at the Beara Irish Brewing Company in Portsmouth sports a giant peace sign filled in with an American flag.
It’s a smoky IPA brewed with Amarillo and Citra Hops, which owner Michael Potorti said, gives it a slightly fruity tinge.
“It’s a nice IPA – it’s not overpowering, it has a nice smoky aroma but when you taste it, it is really smooth, it is a nice smooth beer, you know we use some crystal 60. So, it’s a great beer,” Potorti said.
And his customers agree. Since it was released last weekend bar manager Jeannie Madley said she’s sold dozens of pints.
“People love it and they will buy pints of it, bottles of it without even trying it to support the cause because I think we are all sort of fed up with these events daily,” Madley said.
For every pint sold, Potorti said, 25 percent of the proceeds will go to charities set up to help the 49 families who lost loved ones in the Orlando nightclub shooting as well as the families of the nine police officers who were killed in Dallas.
“You know we are all human beings, we are all part of the human race and we all should be united," Potorti said. "It seems like the country is very divided at the moment, and actually the world, there are a lot of instances happening and you hear almost every day or every other day something happens somewhere in the world – it is just a tragedy. You know, beer unites people, so we decided to create the Unity.”
But this isn’t the first time Potorti has crafted a beer to support a particular cause. Last year he brewed up the “Maloney 260” in honor of Greenland Police Chief Michael Maloney who was killed in the line of duty just weeks before he was about to retire.
Potorti said this beer flew off the shelves and raised $1,000 for the Chief Michael Maloney Memorial Fund.
Since the place opened two years ago Potorti has crafted more than 20 different beers all using Irish Barley Malt imported from Ireland.
He's made a Honey Brown, an IPA, a stout and his flagship beer the Survivor, which is an Irish pale ale brewed in collaboration with a brewery in Cork, Ireland. There's also a mango infused beer, one soaked with pulled pork and barbeque sauce and another using buffalo sauce.
“The first batch actually he used the buffalo tenders and people loved it, but it had that poultry nose to it so we omitted the chicken this time and just went with the hot sauce," Madley said chuckling.
Beara also prides itself on using local ingredients – the Honey Brown beer uses honey from Rye, the Maple Wheat uses maple from Barrington and the Buffalo beer uses hot sauce from Wing-Itz down the road.
Potorit said once the Unity beer runs out he doesn’t plan on making another batch but says he will be setting up another fund next year – making it an annual thing.