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April 11, 2024

Dost thou drink? Redemption Rock and Hanover Theatre Repertory team up for Shakespeare-inspired beer

A glass of beer sits to the right of a group of three blue beer cans, the center can showing a cartoon image of hands being held underneath the beer's name "She's the Man" Image I Courtesy Redemption Rock Brewing Redemption Rock Brewing and The Hanover Theatre Repertory's collaborative "She's The Man" unhopped IPA

Redemption Rock Brewing and The Hanover Theatre Repertory have released a new collaborative beer to celebrate the opening of two plays in Worcester.

William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” and “Judith,” a Shakespeare-inspired play created by  Livy Scanlon, the artistic director of The Hanover Theatre Repertory, are opening on Saturday at the BrickBox Theater in the Jean McDonough Arts Center in Worcester.

To celebrate, Redemption Rock in Worcester is producing “She’s The Man,” an unhopped IPA. Unlike most modern IPAs, this beer is brewed without hops, using other botanical ingredients instead. 

“She’s The Man” is produced with spruce and fir tips, grapefruit peels, and heather, a flowering plant native to Europe and West Asia. This recipe is a homage to Shakespearean times, when ales weren’t brewed with hops. 

“We’re excited about ‘She’s The Man’ because it not only explores historical brewing traditions, but, like ‘Twelfth Night’ and ‘Judith’, it messes around with expectations of identity and expression to create something new, exciting, and a bit silly,” Dani Babineau, CEO and co-founder of Redemption Rock and a member of WBJ’s 2021 Power 50, said in a Tuesday press release announcing the new beer. “It’s both subversive and fun, just like the plays it’s inspired by.”

The brew’s name is a tribute to the 2006 movie starring Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum, which was also heavily inspired by Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.”

‘Judith’, a one-person play penned by playwright Katie Bender, stars Scanlon, a member of WBJ’s 2022 Power 50. The play is a saga involving the titular imaginary sister of Virginia Woolf, the famous 20th century English writer.

“The concepts of gender, identity, and expression are as timeless as Shakespeare’s works, which is why they’re still inspiring new plays, movies, and even beers centuries later,” Scanlon said in the press release. “Both ‘Judith’ and this unhopped IPA take Shakespearean-era ideas and apply them to modern times, and we’re delighted to be able to enjoy both at the same time.”

The Hanover Theatre Repertory is an effort to bolster the local arts scene through the hosting of regular theatrical events in the BrickBox Theater, a more intimate setting than the spacious Hanover Theatre a block away.

“She’s The Man” is available on tap and in four-packs at Redemption Rock’s Shrewsbury Street taproom. The brew will be available for tasting at the Repertory’s Opening Day Open House, which will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday at the BrickBox Theater. The beer will be available throughout the Repertory’s 2024 run at the BrickBox, while supplies last. 

This new beer is the latest collaboration between Redemption Rock and other local businesses; In January, the B Corp brewery became the official provider of Grass Fed, the house beer for The Fix Burger Bar in Worcester, Marlborough, and Leominster. 

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