After a long year of being on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Great South Bay Brewery just wants healthcare heroes to sit back, relax, and crack open a cold one.
This is why they have joined forces with South Shore University Hospital to concoct a special brew in honor of its hospital workers.
Great South Bay Brewery started canning 2,200 cans, 16 oz. four-packs of “HOPSital Heroes” last week — a raspberry New England IPA that represents each employee of South Shore University Hospital.
Donna Moravick, executive director of SSUH, said she and a group of colleagues who are also beer enthusiasts met at GSB’s tasting room one night and tried a flight of different beer flavors.
Moravick said they designed the brew alongside the Davis family, who co-owns the brewery, and Rob Donahue, manager of the tasting room.
On April 17, 2020, South Shore University Hospital had the highest number of COVID-19 patients, which was over 300 cases, Moravick said.
She recalls it as being “a nightmare,” which is why it is important the hospital workers are recognized by the community for their efforts.
Moravick added that the South Shore University Hospital staff is all about supporting local businesses, especially during the pandemic, so the collaboration with Great South Bay Brewery was a win-win for both parties.
“It was fun — we whittled it down to one flavor, I wanted something sweeter, so we picked raspberry,” Moravick said. “I think this is yet another affirmation of how everyone is recognizing what everyone has done, it has been the roughest time ever.”
Back in December, Great South Bay Brewing donated $1,500 to South Shore University Hospital to aid in their COVID-19 response.
Now, the brewery is continuing to give back by donating the proceeds from the beer sales back to the hospital staff in the form of $10 gift GSB Brewery gift cards for each “HOPSital Heroes” 4-pack purchased.
Zachary Popp, outside sales director of the brewery, credited brewer Dillion Christie for formulating the beer and said the overall process to create “HOPStial Heroes” took about three and half weeks.
Popp said the process starts with collecting various malts, putting all the ingredients into one of their fermenters, which is a 10 to 14-day process itself, and then preparing the brew for canning.
Purées are not usually added because the hops the brewery uses give off floral or “juicy” flavors already, but Popp said they made an exception for a good cause.
“It actually was a great experiment, kind of like the vaccine,” Popp said. “In this circumstance, it was something they wanted and we got to test ourselves on what we can produce in a brew.”
“HOPStial Heroes” will be available both at Great South Bay Brewery and local beverage centers.
This past year caused many businesses like Great South Bay Brewery to shut down, and Popp said South Shore University Hospital’s efforts in providing vaccines for the community will allow the brewery to grow and flourish in the future.
“We just really want them to understand how much we respect them all while enjoying this cold beverage, for them to understand that their hard work doesn’t go unnoticed,” Popp said. “We’re trying with this product to show them what they’ve over the last year means more than we can really explain.”
Top: “HOPStial Heroes” cans created by Great South Bay Brewery and South Shore University Hospital.