Stereotypical beer drinkers are known more as laid back hop swillers, talking about a band’s latest EP or the who won that big game, but the truth is that beer and politics have gone hand-in-hand for time immemorial. Public houses have always been political places. Many choose to discuss political issues and nuances over a cold brew. We have seen many ‘Pints and Politics’ groups that have popped up in many cities, including London.

But now is not  the time to stand idly by while the political spectrum explodes in North America. Beer drinkers - and beer companies - are taking a stand. Even the big guys are wading into the fray: just look at Budweiser’s latest Super Bowl commercial which took aim at historic negative attitudes towards immigrants, and pointing out that (duh!) the majority of us in North America are in fact related to immigrants.

Although Forest City Beer Fest’s upcoming Winter Pop-Up Bar is focused on experiencing new beers while reconnecting with old friends, there is a pinch of politics sprinkled in, too. FCBF has partnered with Grand River Brewing in Kitchener for a fest exclusive collaboration beer called Tear Down This Wall!  A Stieber brew with a heart - proceeds from these beers sales will go towards Lifeline Syria, an organization that helps to settle Syrian refugees.

“I don’t think we should be afraid for beer to be political,” says Beer Fest Founder Aaron Brown. “We are out, having a great time. But we can also give back to our communities in need, and think about the issues affecting our world outside of our beer glass.”

It’s promised that the Pop-Up Bar exclusive will be a delight for hop heads. “Tear Down The Wall is vaguely reminiscent of a Belgian Trappist Beer,” explains Grand River Brewer, Josh Cormier. He promises caramelized sugary flavours with low hop bitterness. “The ingredients are the usual malt, hops yeast and water. But we used a unique procedure that required us to get stones piping hot and throw them in the wort, this causes some of the sugars to caramelize and likely changed the mineral profile of the wort, and ultimately, the beer.”

Come out early to get your hands on this exclusive collaboration beer from Forest City Beer Fest and Grand River Brewing.