Brooklyn Brewery launched Fonio Rising, a distinctive craft beer made with the climate-resistant, ancient West African grain fonio. The beer was brewed in collaboration with purpose-driven food business Yolélé, whose mission is to bring underutilized African ingredients like fonio to global tables. Led by the visionary and James Beard Award-winning Brewmaster Garrett Oliver, Brooklyn Brewery has been working with fonio, which has been a source of income for the most rural of African communities, since 2019, paving the way for the creation. Fonio Rising Double Pilsner (6.4% ABV) is a golden lager that exudes a robust and crisp profile, featuring vibrant tropical fruit notes. The beer will be available at Whole Foods Market stores across the USstarting early October, and in Brooklyn Brewery’s Williamsburg-based Tasting Room.


Known as the "seed of the universe,” fonio - a grain in the millet family, which has thrived in West Africa for more than 5,000 years - has gained attention recently for its exceptional nutritional profile and culinary versatility, and even recognized as part of the UN’s declaration that 2023 is “the year of the millet.” In 2019, Garrett Oliver reached out to the esteemed Senegalese Chef Pierre Thiam, whose pioneering food company Yolélé has played a pivotal role in introducing fonio to the Western world. Inspired by Chef Thiam's insightful TED talk, Oliver swiftly recognized the potential of this ancient grain, embarking on a mission to craft a beer that pays homage to its heritage while supporting the smallholder farms in West Africa.

Since then, Garrett Oliver has emerged as the foremost authority on utilizing fonio in the brewing process. Prior to the creation of Fonio Rising, fonio has been featured in a number of limited releases. Last year, Brooklyn Brewery and Yolélé’s first partnership, Brooklyn Brewery x Yolélé Fonio White Beer, was released regionally in the US, as was the Brewery’s collaboration with Run The Jewels, a beer dubbed 36” Chain. Additionally, in 2021, fonio was used in Seed, Stalk And Root, a dark lager brewed in partnership with US based Cajun Fire Brewing Co. And most recently, in the UK, Brooklyn Brewery teamed up for a fonio session IPA release with renowned impact beer brand Brewgooder.