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New Provincetown Brew by Maker of Gay Pride Beer
 

Northampton, MA -  Over Memorial Day Weekend, the J.Lewis Company, makers of Gay Pride Beer, will launch a tribute beer in honor of Provincetown, Massachusetts.

President and CEO, Jenn Lewis, will dedicate the company's latest product, Provincetown Brew, at a public ceremony.  With 10% of company profits, Lewis, who came out in 1976, has established the J. Lewis Endowment Fund to support gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender social action and education.  An open-door icon marks her products.

"Provincetown was the first place I encountered where people could be different," says Lewis, a Western Mass native.  "It's not someplace that's homogenized and pasteurized.  It's played a pivotal role in my life."

When she was younger, Lewis remembers seeing a couple spontaneously jump into the water fully clothed.  She treasures that freedom to be oneself in Provincetown.  In designing the label, she says, "I wanted people to look at it and feel as though they've had a ten second vacation."

Last year, Lewis made international history by launching Gay Pride Beer, the first beer to carry the word "gay" on its label.  A recipe glitch caused her to recall the beer three weeks after the launch.

Earlier this month, Lewis announced the company's new brewmaster to be Liz Trott, owner of Jigger Hill Brewery, Ltd., operating under the name of Tunbridge Brewing.  The first and only lesbian commercial brewer in Vermont, Trott has reformulated the Gay Pride Beer's recipe and designed the new Provincetown Brew.

"Since Provincetown water is not suitable for beer-making, I chose a first class brewer in Vermont who makes premium beer with pure, Green Mountain, deep well water," explains Lewis.

Trott describes the new beer as a "crisp blonde ale, very lightly hopped."  She says it delivers a light, fruity flavor with a dry finish, is moderately carbonated and has a "silky smooth" head.  She uses very light malts, all natural ingredients, and no pasteurization.  The original gravity is 1.042. The ABV (alcohol by volume) is 4.0.  With playful intent, the ad copy describes the "beach blonde" ale as "a full-bodied, sumptuous blonde."

Trott, a former horse woman from Rhode Island, began brewing in Vermont in the late '60s.  Inventor of sap brew made from maple sap, she switched to brewing as a profession in 1995.  Recognition from internationally-known beer taster, Jonathan Tuttle, has lead to Trott's participation in the Great British Beer Festival for the last four years.

Prior to the official launch of Provincetown Brew, Steve Melamed, Chair of the town's Visitors Services Board, hosted a private tasting of the new beer at Bayside Betsy's, the former Provincetown Ferry, which he and his wife, Betsy, have renovated.

"A nationally-distributed beer named after P-town may help us with our goals of extending tourism into the shoulder seasons and enhancing the visitors' experience, " says Melamed.

Liz Trott, Jenn Lewis, & Steve Melamed
"It will be a great souvenir to take home," remarks Bob Harrison, Chairman of the Provincetown Chamber of Commerce, who has just returned from Bhutan, Burma where "they brush their teeth with beer, the water's so bad."  Both will speak at the dedication ceremony.

Provincetown Brew will be distributed on the Cape by J.J. Taylor.  It will be available in kegs initially.  Bottles carrying an azure blue label with an orange-red sail will be distributed to bars, restaurants and package stores starting in June.  Plans for regional and then national distribution are in the works.

Trott's own distribution company has begun to distribute Gay Pride Beer in Vermont.  It is now also available in parts of Massachusetts.  Distribution throughout New England is expected by September.

Lewis suggests that those interested in getting distribution of either beer in their areas go to the company's website, gaypridebeer.com, to register their requests.

The "Gay Pride Beer Gang," depicted in promotions for Gay Pride Beer, is participating in pride marches in Northampton, Provincetown, Boston, Providence, Burlington, VT and New York City this spring.  The company is also sponsoring related activities in these locations.

In Provincetown, Lewis, a member of the Provincetown Business Guild, chose to co-sponsor the Mardi Gras Harbor Tea Dance, a fundraiser hosted by Bay State Cruises during Peace in Pride 2000 on May 21.