MN Breweries Join Campaign to Bring Mental Health Awareness with “Things We Don’t Say” IPA

At least 14 Minnesota craft breweries have joined an international campaign to raise awareness of mental health by committing to brew a special collaboration beer.

In late February 2021, a collection of breweries, craft beer brands, hop and malt suppliers, craft beer groups and mental health organizations announced a new project called Things We Don’t Say: Craft Beer for Mental Health.

“This collaborative project was created to help shift how we approach mental health by encouraging people to talk about their experiences and feelings, both good and bad, and to demonstrate the importance of asking for help when we need it,” writes one of the campaign’s organizers, Eagle Park Brewing.

THINGS WE DON’T SAY: Craft Beer For Mental Health is a call to empower breweries from around the globe to use their platforms to stand up for those who suffer in silence with their mental health, be it with anxiety, depression, or other mental illness,” writes Hope for the Day, a non-profit movement also behind the campaign. “[We] are inviting the collective independent craft beer community to smash the stigma surrounding mental health with the release of THINGS WE DON’T SAY IPA: Craft Beer For Mental Health.”

While the beer’s name comes from the non-profit’s flagship mental health education curriculum, the roots go deeper than that. After the owner of Wandering Soul Beer in Beverly, MA — Matt Smith — and his wife lost their stillborn daughter Melody in 2017, Matt released a New England Double IPA named “Things We Don’t Say…” to highlight the impact of his own mental health journey. Matt and his wife saw firsthand the dichotomy between the pain of loss and the stigma with not being able to talk about it. Now, other breweries including Eagle Park Brewing and Wellbeing Brewing (MO) are taking up the banner to raise awareness and normalize discussions like the ones Matt and his wife couldn’t have.

“Things We Don’t Say” IPA is set to release everywhere in May, which is also Mental Health Month. While the base recipe will result in a 6% ABV IPA, other breweries who choose to participate are encouraged to follow the recipe only as closely as they like, meaning every brewery’s final beer could be different to another’s. Malteurop Malting Co. and Hollingbery & Son Hops have also partnered as organizers of the campaign, offering significant discounts on ingredients for any brewery that chooses to participate.

As of writing, several Minnesota breweries have committed to brewing “Things We Don’t Say” IPA. They are:

Hope for the Day asks that a portion of proceeds from the sales of “Things We Don’t Say” IPA be donated to support Hope for the Day’s proactive suicide prevention and mental health education programming. Some breweries — like Pantown Brewing — have chosen to donate their proceeds to a local mental health organization like The Beautiful Mind Project in St. Cloud instead.

You can read more about Things We Don’t Say: Craft Beer for Mental Health and Hope for the Day here. We’ll keep the list of participating Minnesota breweries updated as we learn of more joining.

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