Since opening its doors in 2018, Ossining’s Sing Sing Kill Brewery has reached its landmark 100th brew. And while celebration comes with any number of complications during a global pandemic, co-owners Eric Gearity and Matt Curtin found a fitting way to commemorate the milestone. Proceeds from the brewery’s anniversary batch, dubbed Howl, will benefit area non-profit NAMI Westchester, an affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
“We thought it an appropriate opportunity to focus all of this positivity on celebrating those working to destigmatize the mental health crisis by acknowledging the pain and struggle we all share,” said Gearity. “We’re proud to partner with NAMI Westchester and hope that our platform can help spread their services to those in need.”
Located in Elsmford, NAMI Westchester provides a variety of mental health services and programming. The group has pivoted to a virtual model in response to the pandemic and its attendant mental health crisis. According to a CDC report released this summer, the impact of physical distancing and stay-at-home orders has significantly increased mental health challenges. NAMI offers remote support groups, prevention workshops, and a help line, while also continuing to develop Covid-specific community presentations.
“While we aren’t able to physically spend time with all of our loved ones right now, togetherness is more important than ever,” Gearity said. “Reach out and stay in touch with your friends and family. If you are struggling, don’t be afraid to recognize it and seek help. We don’t have to go at it alone.”
The brewers named this particular run Howl after the 1956 Allen Ginsberg poem, also known as “Howl for Carl Solomon”, a writer and friend whom Ginsberg met at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Inspired by “Howl”’s opening passage — “We’ve seen most minds of our generation destroyed by madness” — the brewery aimed to create a unique flavor profile.
“In order to make a beer that truly captured this moment in time, we opened up the primary fermentation tank to let the naturally-occurring wild yeast flavor this batch,” Curtain said. “This wild yeast lends our saison–style ale a slightly funky character balanced by the lemony bite of the Southern Cross hops grown by our friends at Schmidt Hop Farm in Farmington, NY.”
Howl will be available for a limited time. If you or someone you know needs help, NAMI’s HelpLine is 914-592-5458.