CHICAGO — Chicagoans can help people displaced by the war in Ukraine by simply drinking a new brew.

It’s called Ukrainian Golden Ale and it was unveiled at Midwest Coast Brewing as part of Illinois Craft Beer Week.

WGN News Now spoke with Suzie Compton, co-owner of the brewery who was also born in Ukraine.

“It started actually right before the war happened as a little bit of a different angle,” said Compton. “We were approached by a Ukrainian brewery about doing a collaboration for a Ukrainian Golden Ale that they wanted to make an official beer style, and to do that they needed international breweries to support it and to give it validation.”

Compton says she had agreed to the idea and was excited to be a part of something bigger. About three days later Ukraine was invaded and Compton says communication went understandably silent. About a week after that Compton says the Ukrainian brewery reached back out and without hesitation they signed back on, but this time with the intention to raise funds and awareness of what was going on in Ukraine.  

Varvar Brew, a brewery in Kyiv, Ukraine, sent their brewer to Chicago to work on the collaboration. The beer’s release on Sunday was turned into a fundraiser where more than $10,000 were raised. Proceeds go to Global Disaster Relief Team.

“One hundred percent of the proceeds go towards an organization that is helping with Ukrainian relief efforts,” said Compton. “And that organization is personal to us because my parents a couple weeks ago went to Poland to help on the boarder and provide medical assistance. And this is the organization they volunteered through that we know is a legitimate group that is helping on the ground.”

Compton says there are still a few kegs with the ale available and on tap in their brewery.

This specific ale is 6.8% and is described as being similar to a Belgian strong ale with an added twist of coriander.