BALTIMORE (WJZ) — With the restaurant industry struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic, Union Craft Brewing has decided to brew a beer to help.

The Baltimore-based brewery will be donating 100 percent of the proceeds of their new double IPA, “Somebody to Lean On,” to the Baltimore Restaurant Relief Fund.

“The food and beverage industry is like our right hand,” Union Craft Brewing co-founder Jon Zerivitz said. “They handle our beer and sell our beer every single day and they are hurting really bad right now.”

Named in honor of the late Bill Withers, the 8.6 percent brew has fruity aromatics and notes of pineapple and mango.

“People love it,” Zerivitz said, “and we really wanted to generate as much money as we could for the fund.”

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In addition, the newly-created Baltimore Restaurant Relief Fund is preparing to give out $100 to 100 laid-off industry employees.

“We really want to focus on people who have yet to receive unemployment, or who have been declined, and really help those folks who may be falling through the cracks,” Dave Seel, the fund’s president, said.

As the situation evolves, they plan to start helping the restaurant owners. Because of initiatives like this, Seel said they’ll be able to help a lot more.

“‘Somebody to Lean On,’ it’s a great tagline for a beer,” Seel said, “and it means a lot. Not just for myself, not just for my organization but for the city of Baltimore.”

A collection of local and national brands have supported the relief fund.

Applications for the first round of grants will be available on their website starting Friday. Click here to learn more.

Union Craft Brewing is also selling commemorative glassware and will be holding a virtual concert on May 22 to help raise money for the cause.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Sean Streicher

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