Saratoga breweries sell bluesy beer for a cause – The Daily Gazette

SARATOGA SPRINGS — An otherwise miserable day in January was interrupted by an upbeat caller from New Mexico.

Max Oswald, general manager at Saratoga Brewing Co., said the call was unexpected. The guy on the phone promised “this great idea for the summer.”

Oswald proceeded with caution. 

“Normally that stuff means somebody has an angle,” he said. “They’re looking for something. They’re gonna suck you in and try to make you pay tons of money — but I listened to him.”

He liked what he heard. 

The caller was John Nichols, who founded Craft for Causes and wanted to know if Saratoga Brewing would be a part of the charity’s first national undertaking. 

He wanted Saratoga Brewing to create a beer inspired by Tedeschi Trucks Band in advance of the Jacksonville, Fla., blues-rockers’July 3 stop at Saratoga Performing Arts Center. And he wanted to know if the brewery would give $1 for every beer sold to the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, a nonprofit that donates instruments to underfunded music programs in schools nationwide. 

“I didn’t even hesitate,” Oswald said. “I said, ‘Yeah, let’s do it,’ because we love that band anyways and we love doing anything we can to promote music.”

The Saratoga brewers have since created a light-tasting beer that “almost anybody will like,” Oswald said. Called Summertime Blues, it’s a variation of the brewery’s summer ale with lemon and “a hint of blueberry,” he said, and 5-percent alcohol by volume. 

“It’s kind of cool, and it kind of matches the band,” he said. “We came up with the name of the beer and made the beer to fit it.”

Saratoga made a limited batch of 10 barrels, or about 300 gallons, of the bluesy beer and has been selling it in the taproom on Excelsior Avenue and at two Phila Street bars,

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