AP NEWS

New beer also aims to raise awareness of HIV prevention

September 3, 2016 GMT

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. -

What pairs well with beer? How about a good cause?

A draft of Magic Hat’s newest brew, Belgo Sutra, leaves little room for foam, but plenty of space for a good time. The new beer was tapped Thursday at the South Burlington brewery. Head brewer Christopher Rockwood said it’s a dark ale that beefs up the flavor with figs and dates.

“We’ve actually brewed it here at the brewery a couple of times before, with limited if any distribution,” said Rockwood.

This time, the company is planning on stocking shelves across the nation. Every bottle comes with a message to its drinker; 22-ounce bottles of Belgo Sutra will carry a little note card from Vermont CARES, a nonprofit dedicated to HIV and AIDS prevention.

“The fact that these beer bottles have little tags explaining what HIV is and who Vermont CARES is huge for us,” Vermont CARES executive director Peter Jacobsen said.

Jacobsen said his organization is striving toward zero new HIV infections by 2020, and getting the word out about their prevention programs and care services via beer bottles is a step in the right direction.

“Partnerships like this make it totally possible,” he said.

Jacobsen added that people often pair drinking with bad decision-making, but he and the Magic Hat brewers feel the card will remind people to play it safe.

“They’re a very big proponent of enjoying yourself but doing so in a safe manner. And for us, as a brewery, that’s a very big thing,” said Rockwood.

The consensus at the party was the beer and the message both leave a good taste.