To promote New Zealand Sign Language Week (21-27 September), Garage Project has launched Talk to the Hand 2020, a new beer with an original label designed by the brand’s own Ryan Cassidy, a proud member of the deaf community.
Garage Project has also won the NZ Sign Language Employer Award, which recognises businesses who demonstrate a commitment to NZSL and to working with deaf employees and individuals.
“We love doing this beer to promote one of our country’s three official languages, to get to work with Ryan on the creative side of things, to learn more and feel like we’re giving back to a community we’re connected to,” explained Pete Gillespie, Garage Project founder and brewer.
“We want this to start a conversation which will hopefully lead to more people learning something new, making new connections. Who knows where it might lead? It can all start with this can of beer. Let your hands do the talking.”
Talk to the Hand 2020 is a dry-hopped unfiltered lager brewed using only the finest malts and New Zealand-grown hops. The beer's launch will see taprooms across New Zealand offering the beer alongside NZSL lessons with representatives from Deaf Aotearoa during New Zealand Sign Language week.
“It feels really important to me to have a beer brewed not only for NZSL week but specifically for the Deaf community. To have something that we can truly feel we belong to and to celebrate our language with a beer,” noted Cassidy.
“With the art for the label, worked in lots of hidden meanings and inside jokes - two main themes are the damage to the hand, and how valuable they are to deaf people. The eyes and mouths on the hands represent our voices, our sounds. This collab reminds me why I love to work here. To the outsiders, crazy cool beers are a big part of Garage Project. But for us working here, people are a big part of Garage Project too - We are one big loving family of rebels, misfits and people that like to do things differently.”
Organised by Deaf Aotearoa NZSL Week celebrates one of the country’s official languages, NZSL Week helps to promote the language and aims to raise awareness about New Zealand’s Deaf Community. It also provides the Deaf Community a chance to put their hands up and be heard, and to stand proud as Deaf as well as promoting their language and culture.