From charity brews to charitable donations, and from hiring differently abled employees to mentoring, the craft beer community really gives back to the greater community.
For example, Phillips Brewing in
Phillips says: "We make beer, and we want to use our powers of craft beer creation for good! A few years back we decided that an awesome way to do this would be to create a special beer for a charity, name the beer after the cause and donate the proceeds - the charity receives some much-needed support, and we get to brew a fun beer! However we quickly ran into a problem: there are just way too many deserving causes for us to simply choose one. To solve our conundrum we put it out to the community to tell us who they wanted to support adnd the Benefit Brew was born!"
Phillips isn’t alone. Last month Steamworks Brewing donated some of the profits from their Heroica Red Ale to the BC Burn Fund; for the past two years Central City Brewing in
VCBW – Vancouver Craft Beer Week brews a collaboration charity brew each year, with $1 from every 650 ml bottle sold going to the charity chosen that year. 2014’s $5,000 donation went to the Music Heals charity. 2011’s $1,294 went to Japanese Tsunami Relief, 2012’s donation of $3,200 went to the Farmland Defence League of BC and 2013’s donation of $3,500 went to Mark Brand’s A Better Life Foundation. As you can see, the donation amount just keeps on going up for VCBW!
Other than charity brews there were also 2014’s charity calendar spearheaded by Moon Under Water brewpub in Victoria – The $20 Beautiful Brewers of BC calendar featured PG-13 nude shots of various BC brewers for each month, with proceeds being donated to the BC Cancer Foundation to support provincial cancer research; Driftwood Brewing entered the Ride to Conquer Cancer this year and held fundraisers for their team’s required donation, such as a long-table 5-course dinner at Hop & Vine in
Powell Street Brewing is currently collecting items for the Vancouver Food Bank. For every item you donate, they'll pour you 4oz of their delicious beer (max two per person per day). Doing good never tasted so good!
Breweries are also very generous in donating beer to other fundraisers. I have first-hand experience with this as any fund-raiser I have been involved with has featured beers generously donated by local breweries. In my experience, Storm and Dead Frog have been particularly forthcoming with donated beer. Thanks guys!
Breweries sponsor local sports teams, the tasting rooms partner with food trucks and other local businesses to provide food to their hungry patrons… and of course, as we mention on On the Coast from time to time, the breweries collaborate with each other and help each other out of ingredient shortages, as well as supporting the local homebrew club via contests and hosting brews.
And then there’s the CBC FoodBank Day fundraiser. Last year I began by asking 6 breweries to donate and all of them came through with so many beer and beer swag donations that I had three really awesome gift baskets filled in no time, and had to stop asking for donations before I got deluged! This year I am asking different breweries to donate and expect that they will provide me with just as many wonderful items for gift baskets.
Last, but certainly not least, Parallel 49 employs several differently abled staff. P49's program was spot-lighted in October’s CommunityLiving month as a success story of local businesses who hire people with developmental disabilities.
Parallel 49 – Toques of Hazzard is back! This Imperial White IPA is 9.2% but doesn’t taste like it, so go easy with it! – bottles on tap around town and in the tasting room
Bomber Brewing – Absolute Horizon CDA – 6.5% - bottles and on tap around town and in the tasting room
33 Acres of Darkness - Schwartzbier –5% - at the tasting room