Brewery in Orlando to Release a Collaboration Beer with Arrested Development

Orlando, FL -- On April 27th Broken Strings Brewery in downtown Orlando will release Mr. Wendal, an 11% vanilla hazelnut bourbon-cognac barrel-aged imperial stout. Mr. Wendal is named after a song by the famous hip hop collective Arrested Development and $2 of every bottle of this collaboration will be donated to the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida. 


Central Florida’s Coalition for the Homeless serves more than 600 Orlando locals each day through residential programs and community initiatives. Their mission is to “transform the lives of homeless men, women, and children by providing crucial services to end their crisis of homelessness.” The song Mr. Wendal advocates helping the homeless and begins with “Here, have a dollar. In fact, no brotherman here, have two. Two dollars means a snack for me but it means a big deal to you.”


Arrested Development is a two-time Grammy award-winning hip hop group that was popularized in the early ’90s. Their positive alternative rap shook up the hip hop scene and Arrested Development was even named Rolling Stone’s Band of the Year in 1993. Their messages about helping your neighbor was an inspiration for the collaboration. Broken Strings Brewery is located just a half a mile from the Coalition for the Homeless community shelter. 


Broken Strings Brewery is an Orlando microbrewery located at 1012 W. Church St. The company loves to craft unique beers with a story. For example, Mr. Wendal was aged for seven months in a barrel that had spent three years aging Maker’s Mark Bourbon before it was shipped to France where it was used to craft VSOP Cognac. The soft notes of oak, bourbon, and brandy harmonize with the flavors of hazelnut and vanilla without overpowering the roasty malt backbone of the high octane imperial stout.


Broken Strings Brewery often collaborates with local and national musical acts. This locally owned and operated Florida small business will celebrate its three year anniversary in early June and has received recent media attention for their beer Liquid Vinyl. This black IPA took home a gold medal at the 2019 Best Florida Beer competition and received an honorable mention for Best Beer in Florida. To learn more information about Broken String Brewery, follow them on Facebook or Instagram at @brokenstringsbrewery.

Arrested Development’s Rapper Speech Meets With Richmond Students

Students in Richmond’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School had a special guest yesterday. Grammy award-winning artist and rapper Speech, with the hip hop group Arrested Development, paid a visit.

“Clap your hands everybody! Like this, ya’ll, and you don’t stop. This is how we used to talk back in the day. That’s hip hop. I know ya’ll are like... that’s corny,” Speech said.

Speech shared some lyrics – and the personal story – that inspired him to write the group’s hit song: Tennessee. His favorite grandma lived there, and he’d visit her every summer. But, the same week she died – Speech also lost his only brother. The last time he saw him was at his grandmother’s memorial service in Tennessee.

“Art can be a way that we can express our feelings, a way we can get feelings out,” Speech said. “Because all of us have been through things that’ve been unbearable to explain.”

Speech said writing the song was a way for him to help deal with that loss. And he encouraged Richmond students to use it as an outlet, too.

Xavier Parham is a 7th grade math teacher at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School. “I thought it was very beneficial for the kids, just exposing them to different outlets and just giving them the opportunity to express themselves,” Parham said.

Speech is a mentor with the Turnaround Arts program that’s in three Richmond schools. The district is the first in Virginia to implement the program.

Winston Cox with Turnaround Arts says the program is in 81 schools across the country. The program began under the Obama administration, and works in schools that states designate as “priority” schools - meaning they contribute to the achievement gap.

“We really are all about bringing more joy and engagement to learning in schools,” Cox said. “We feel like we’re in an era where some of that has faded because of an over obsession, over fixation on standardized teaching and learning.”

2015 research from a pilot program in a D.C. school showed increases in student achievement and decreases in student discipline.

“You can just see with a visit like this young people understanding that [Speech is] somebody who has really devoted themselves to a craft...they inherently understand the value of that,” Cox said. “They see what excellence looks like and it’s contagious. Totally contagious.”