Apr 03, 2020
WASHINGTON, DC -- Today marks the release of USA Rice’s first ever craft beer collaboration. This opportunity stemmed from last year’s Think Rice Truck Tour after the truck visited Hellbender Brewing Company in the Fort Totten neighborhood here. The brewery hosted a rice-themed trivia night and USA Rice provided Aroma rice cookers and samples of U.S.-grown rice to all attendees.
That, as they say, was the beginning of a beautiful friendship! And after a few months of conversation, USA Rice along with Hellbender and Black Narrows Brewing of Virginia Beach got together to brew this special rice beer.
“Here at Hellbender, we are all about using as many local ingredients as possible to brew our beer,” said Ben Evans, Hellbender’s owner and head brewer. “So after our successful event with the Think Rice Truck, it was a natural fit to partner with USA Rice. The story behind U.S.-grown rice and their reputation for high quality grain made this the perfect adjunct ingredient for a unique and tasty beer.”
The beer, aptly named Serves You Rice, is a saison style beer with a light pink hue and an alcohol content of 5 percent. Serves You Rice was produced using Blanca Isabel Purple Rice grown by Fred Zaunbrecher in Rayne, Louisiana. The can design features an overhead shot of rice fields, and both the “Grown in The USA” and “Think Rice” logos along with this description: Blanca Isabel is a purple rice varietal grown exclusively in Rayne, LA for the past eight years. USA Rice supports American Farmers who share a commitment to producing the highest quality product through sustainable farming practices.
“I personally want to thank both Hellbender and Black Narrows for all the hard work they put into this project,” said Cameron Jacobs, USA Rice director of domestic promotion. “This is a big day for USA Rice as it’s our first giant step into the craft beer world. While the amount of rice needed may not be astronomical, being able to reach a new consumer audience with USA Rice messaging and logos is an exciting new avenue to pursue.”
A gala release party and distribution of the beer in kegs to bars throughout DC have been put on hold because of the shutdown due to COVID-19. Instead, Serves You Rice will be available at the brewery for to-go purchases in six-packs, and crowler fills at Hellbender’s taproom in northeast Washington.