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Ukrainian community collaborates with N.B. brewery for 'Taste of Freedom'

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The Ukrainian Club of Moncton and the O'Creek Brewing Co. have joined forces to create a new beer that symbolizes the strength and courage of the Ukrainian people.

The "Taste of Freedom" fundraising event to launch the beer Kozak Lager was held Sunday afternoon at the packed Moncton taproom.

O'Creek founder and co-owner Patrice Daigle said he was seeking an opportunity to brew a new beer and support the Ukrainian community at the same time.

"It's basically like a pilsner, but made with Ukraine hops, so there's a little bit of Ukraine in the beer," said Daigle.

It's not his recipe, but Ukrainian brewer, Oleg Kvasha, volunteered his time to work with the staff at O'Creek to come up with the Czech-style pale lager.

"The Kozaks, they are our ancestors and they were warriors, Ukrainian warriors in the late middle ages," said Kvasha.

Kvasha said Kozaks were very famous for their courage and strength.

"We decided to name this beer just to show this line between our ancestors, who fought for their freedom and independence, and right now, with our warriors on the front lines who also fight for the same things with the Russian empire," said Kvasha.

Men and women dressed in traditional Ukrainian clothing served food, held a lottery and sold clothing and art during the day-long event.

"It's nice to see Ukrainians here," said Daigle. "It's a very nice culture and they're hard workers."

Fifty cents from every pint and can of Kozak Lager sold will go to the Ukrainian Club of Moncton. That money will be used to purchase supplies for the Ukrainian Army.

For now, the beer is only available inside the taproom, and Daigle said the reaction has been great.

"As soon as we put it on tap and we announced it on social media we started seeing a lot more Ukrainians here and it's getting a lot of attention too," said Daigle.

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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