Hamilton tickets may be out of reach, but a pint of Rise Up Rye, a beer brewed for Lin-Manuel Miranda's award-winning musical, is well within reach. The show teamed up with the Bronx's Gun Hill Brewing, and proceeds from the farmhouse-style rye beer will benefit Graham Windham, a charity supporting children and families.
The inspiration for Rise Up Rye came from Jimmy Ludwig and Mark Aldrich, a pair of Broadway veterans and beer lovers who run an online video series called the Happy Hour Guys. Seeing parallels between the worlds of Broadway and beer, the duo sought out brewers willing to collaborate. Gun Hill, with its Colonial and Revolutionary War theme, seems an obvious match for Hamilton, but Ludwig says it wasn't the first musical they approached. They went through several meetings with uninterested musicals before finding an enthusiastic participant in Hamilton. "Producers didn't understand what beer had to do with them," Ludwig says.
"Craft beer fans and Broadway fans are both crazy in the best possible way," says Ludwig, who hopes to bring the two groups together. "Beer lovers will follow a great craft beer all over country, and stand in line for hours. That's just what Broadway fans do."
The resulting beer, Rise Up Rye, is the sort of complex crowd-pleaser that could appeal to both camps. At 4.8 percent alcohol, it's an easy session beer that anyone can approach. And the spicy rye and New Zealand hops provide vibrant flavors for the hardcore beer lover.
In addition to making a craft beer that was non-beer-drinker friendly, Gun Hill co-founder Dave Lopez says they also knew they wanted to make it a rye beer. "It was such a staple of New York agriculture." And fittingly, the brewery was able to use local rye in the beer.
Rise Up Rye will be available in bottles and on tap at the brewery on Saturday, April 30. It will also be sold at 40 bars across New York City.