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How Colorado Restaurants and Breweries Support Ukraine

Mizuna executive chef Adam Samokishyn’s takeout pierogies raised money for World Central Kitchen this month. Photo courtesy of Mizuna

Eat and drink

From selling pierogi to brewing foam, local business owners are doing what they can to raise money for Ukraine. Also find out how you can help.

When Pravda Beer Theater in Lviv, Ukraine, asked its Facebook followers in early March to support the country’s efforts to fight Russian troops, beer makers around the world rallied behind the brewery. Carol and Tim Cochran, owners of Brewing Horses and Dragons in Fort Collins – were among many in the foam industry who wanted to help, a move sparked by Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

One of Pravda’s many Facebook posts detailing the dire situation in Lviv announced that the brewery plans to shut down almost all of its production in order to make molotov cocktails from its leftover bottles and release its recipe files for any brewer in the world to use . Owner Yuri Zastavny also asked its followers to donate what they could to humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. “When he first posted, it just drove home how real this war is for so many people,” Carol says. “Knowing that a fellow small brewer was in such dire straits that he would stop brewing and start making molotov cocktails out of his bottles was just an absolute reality check.”

the call to action on social media led to the birth of the Brew for Ukraine Initiativewhich invites brewers to produce foam and send proceeds from sales and donations via GoFundMe to help the Ukrainian people. After seeing the post on March 8, Horse and Dragon made a small financial contribution and plans to send another when he has more storage space in June or July to brew and sell one of Pravda’s beers. “The situation is changing so rapidly in Ukraine that I have uploaded the recipes – rather than just saving the link – in case their internet access is cut off by the time we can brew,” said Carol. “How awful is that? »

As fighting in Ukraine continues and the fate of millions remains uncertain, Carol says it’s a small light to see the global brewing community coming together. “It’s both interesting and uplifting to see the outpouring of support and people posting in the Brew for Ukraine Facebook group — people contributing five-gallon homebrews to much larger commercial batches,” she says. “A global community of people who love and make craft beer, answering the call of a fellow brewer.”

Horse and Dragon Brewing is part of a larger community of Colorado food and beverage companies doing what they can to support the people of Ukraine. Read on to learn more about the efforts and how you can help too.

Pierogies at Misfit Snackbar and Mizuna

Bo Porytko, the chef-owner of Misfit snack inside the Middleman Cocktail Bar on East Colfax, serves a brightly colored rabbit and potato stuffed pierogi dish that celebrates the colors of Ukraine: “blue and yellow denote the bright blue sky and golden yellow fields,” he said in an Instagram post. Porytko, whose grandparents immigrated to the United States from Ukraine, will donate all proceeds from the dish to charities helping the Ukrainian people through March 31. He also hopes to sell Ukrainian Easter baskets with kielbasa, treats, salads and other local treats to chefs for another fundraiser (details to come). “As long as there are Russian soldiers in Ukraine, I will try to do what I can,” he said.

mizuna Executive chef Adam Samokishyn is also paying homage to his Ukrainian roots by making pierogies using a family recipe for the restaurant’s tasting menu, which is available until the end of the month. While they’re here, patrons can donate to World Central Cuisine (WCK)—who serves meals prepared by a frontline chef to those in need in communities affected by humanitarian crises and natural disastersvia QR codes at their tables. (Mizuna also offered packs of Samokishyn’s pierogi for takeout only, with half the proceeds going to charity, but they’ve already sold out).

Colorado Chefs for Ukraine at Golden Mill: April 4

The gold mill will have a fundraiser on April 4, thanks to the collaboration of Susan Ganter, co-owner of the Moulin Doré; Elan Wenzel, owner of Aurora’s Element Knife Company; and Jesusio Silva, the chef-owner of several Golden Mill culinary concepts, including Sushi Sora and Tacos al Chile. The event will feature a silent auction and knife demonstrations, including a sushi knife skills contest and a whole hog butcher. Wenzel and Silva are still finalizing their list of participating chefs, but cooking pros from Sushi Sasa, Bamboo Sushi Co. and Denver Poke Co. have already signed up to show off their fish-killing skills. Proceeds from the auction and sale of four draft beers will benefit WCK.

Wenzel — whose great-grandparents on his mother’s side fled kyiv, Ukraine, in 1897 to escape religious persecution and eventually settled in Chicago — and Silva hope the event will bring community members together after a difficult winter marked by COVID. “Chefs, cooks and people in industry are by nature carers,” says Wenzel. “What we do is we serve. And here is an opportunity not only to serve our community, but to serve our community abroad and the people in Ukraine.

Stand with Ukraine Brunch at Cattivella: April 16

When news of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine broke in late February, cattivella Chef-owner Elise Wiggins started planning a trip to Lviv to cook for those in need with WCK. But once the violence escalated, Wiggins postponed plans to travel to Eastern Europe until May. In the meantime, she will host a fundraiser on April 16, the launch of Cattivella’s Italian-inspired brunch menu, with 10% of sales going to WCK.

Wiggins says her efforts are inspired by a Ukrainian who worked in Central Park’s Cattivella for 18 months during the coronavirus pandemic and shared his views on Russia with her. “He’s a lovely gentleman and his mother is in Ukraine,” says Wiggins, who noted that his former employee is likely back in his home country and continues to communicate with her via text. “I’m not the kind of person who likes to sit idly by and it’s not just because of him. [or his mom],” she says. “I feel like it’s the right thing to do… It would be very difficult for me to go there without crossing the border and even helping fight. I believe in it so strongly.” . »

Call to Arms Brewing’s Dark Czech Lager

March 1, Berkeley’s Call to arms brewery, which is known for drawing attention to pop culture and current affairs with playful beer names, has announced its decision to rebrand a black Czech lager named Shirtless Putin Catchin’ Rays to condemn the escalating assault. of Russia against Ukraine. While the show’s name, Shirtless Putin, was originally born as a way to parody Russian propaganda in 2016, owner Chris Bell says the brewery no longer thinks it’s appropriate to refer to the name. Poutine on his beers. Call to Arms plans to rebrand the brew and donate $1 from every six-pack sold to UNICEF Children’s Fund of Ukraine.

Bell hopes to raise over $1,000 for the charity and spark conversation. “If it opens up dialogue between two people who don’t agree and they can find a way to talk to each other without splitting, I think it’s worth it,” he says. “I think that’s something the world doesn’t have a lot of these days. And if we do something that makes someone angry, but we can have an open, honest conversation about it and learn from each other, I think that’s really powerful.

More local culinary businesses are supporting Ukraine

Until tomorrow, March 23, Snooze, an AM restaurant will donate 100% of sales of its crepe of the week – currently a chocolate-covered pretzel delight – to WCK. Fundraising will take place at all 51 locations, and the The beloved breakfast spot is pledging to donate at least $25,000.

Based in Lincoln Park Dazbog Coffee Company will donate $3 per bag of his Svoboda Freedom Blend sold in-store or online at International Committee of the Red Cross. The cafe and supplier, which was founded by brothers Anatoly and Leonid Yuffa, originally from the former Soviet Union who fled their homeland for the United States in 1979, originally planned to hold the fundraiser from February 28 to March 6, but extended it into a foreseeable future.

Patricia Kaowthumrong

Patricia Kaowthumrong

Patricia joined the staff of 5280 in July 2019 and is thrilled to oversee all restaurant coverage for 5280 magazine. Follow her food reporting adventures on Instagram @whatispattyeating.