Brewing Up a Warmer Winter: Hot Plate Brewing Teams Up With Interfaith Group for Winter Fuel Fundraiser

PITTSFIELD, MASS – Imagine singing holiday tunes, enjoying a pint of fresh, local beer and helping some of your neighbors stay warm this winter. That’s what Hot Plate Brewing and the Pittsfield Area Council of Congregations are doing this holiday season.

Hot Plate Brewing is teaming up with the Pittsfield Area Council of Congregations (an interfaith group in the Berkshires) to support their Fuel Fundraiser while strengthening local traditions along the way.

The goal is to raise $10k for the Fuel Fund by January, which includes the launch of a special Community Line Beer called Kardia created by Sarah Real, head brewer at Hot Plate. The name is inspired by the Greek word for “hearth and heart” and is a reminder about finding comfort in dark times. $1 from each sale of this Mexican Hot Chocolate-inspired stout will go towards the Fuel Fund.

This cause means a lot to Mike Dell’Aquila and Sarah Real, co-owners of the brewery. The pair dealt with an apartment that had no heat or hot water for several years, including many holidays. In fact, it’s what inspired the name of the business and moved Sarah closer to her dreams of brewing quality beers with local ingredients.

“When I finally decided that I wanted to start brewing…we lost gas in our apartment in Brooklyn. So we didn’t have heat, didn’t have hot water, couldn’t cook on our gas stove. Rather than continuing to put off the dream, I decided to get a hot plate to brew. It wasn’t a fancy hot plate…bringing anything to boil was a challenge. It was long brew days for a very little amount of beer, but it helped me start to learn the process.”

Hot Plate and PACC hope to make this fuel fundraiser an annual tradition for the holiday season in Pittsfield and be a model for other businesses looking to make an impact.

The fundraiser will feature several events including:

  • An official launch for Kardia with a special performance by Mike Duffy & Lindsay Anne on 12/15
  • A classic Benefit Bingo game at their taproom on 12/13
  • A Beer & Carols event in Pittsfield on 12/20
  • A Festivus fundraiser show featuring local band Fugue State and special guests 12/23

“With energy costs continuing to rise, maintaining a warm and comfortable home is going to be challenging for a growing number of our neighbors here in Pittsfield. With your help, it doesn’t have to be,” said Dell’Aquila.

To learn more about Hot Plate Brewing and its community collaborations, visit


Hot Plate Brewing Co. is the only Latina-owned indie beverage company and brewery in Massachusetts. Co-Founders Sarah Real and Mike Dell’Aquila first discovered craft beer during their time at Penn State in the early 2000s. A love of the art and science of beer led them to take up homebrewing as well as traveling the world. After deciding to pursue a career in craft beer, their Brooklyn condo had their gas turned off for several years due to a code violation. Rather than giving up on their dream, Sarah started brewing on a hot plate, writing and revising her own recipes, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, they started working on a business plan. 

That dream has now turned into the 7-barrel brewhouse with an attached taproom that they opened in Downtown Pittsfield in 2023. They have begun distributing many of their products, including their Capable of Anything, a chamomile Blonde Ale that’s a real crowd pleaser.