PATAGONIA CERVEZA: for every case sold, the company would, in partnership with the National Forest Foundation, plant a tree.
SWEET WATER’S TWISTED FISH CRYSTAL PILSNER: $1 from each case will go to fund projects for sustainable fisheries.
RED CLAY BREWING’S 53 LAGER: donates a portion of its sales to the Alabama Coastal Foundation (ACF)
The other day I came across a beer in the grocery store that caught my eye: Patagonia Cerveza’s Bohemian Pilsner. What was most interesting was its claim that for every case sold, the company would, in partnership with the National Forest Foundation, plant a tree. Being the tree-hugger that I am, I bought a six pack to do my part.
I had assumed (wrongly, as it turned out) that it was sold by the Patagonia clothing company, which is well known for donations to environmental causes. Turns out, the clothing company does put out its own beer, Long Root Ale (which I’ve not been able to find in our area), but Patagonia Cerveza is actually owned by InBev. I was not the only one fooled by this association; the clothing company is currently suing InBev over the brand identification.
The beer was pedestrian at best, but it got me wondering about other beer companies that were giving back to their larger communities, either out of altruism or self-interest. There are actually a host of brewers, large and small, that give back through the beers that they brew.
Atlanta’s SweetWater Brewery recently came out with Guide Beer, a really nice light lager that I found at my local Publix, in which 11 percent of all profits go to: “Those men and women who lead us to swift waters, into the shadows of tall trees and through the unexplored terrain of ourselves … who are no longer able to pursue their life’s work,” according to SweetWater.
SweetWater also has an annual “Save our Water” campaign to raise money for clean waterways, and has donated over $1 million to different conservation organizations, including Waterkeeper Alliance and Ducks Unlimited. It regularly puts out seasonal brews that benefit environmental causes. Its current release is Twisted Fish Crystal Pilsner; $1 from each case will go to fund projects for sustainable fisheries.
Of course, no one has more beautiful — or more threatened — waterways than those of us in Lower Alabama, and, not surprisingly, our local breweries have stepped up to help out those who protect our coastal environment. For the second year in a row, Fairhope Brewing Company has brewed a special session IPA, Hop in the Bay, benefitting Mobile Baykeeper, with $1 from each pour going to the organization.
Out of Opelika, Red Clay Brewing’s 53 lager donates a portion of its sales to the Alabama Coastal Foundation (ACF). Named for the 53 miles of Alabama coastline, the Kölsch is available in cans in our area. Haint Blue Brewing in Mobile will host a “Connect to Your Coast” fundraiser for ACF on July 24 from 4-8 p.m. And Big Beach Brewing will host its own “Connect to Your Coast” event on August 22, from noon to 8 p.m. in Gulf Shores.
Along with water, breweries seem to love animals — which makes sense, as there are few things better than sitting at your favorite brewery with man’s best friend. This past Saturday, Serda Brewing in Mobile hosted a fundraiser for the Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) donating $1 per pint sold to the group. Across the bay, Fairhope Brewing donates $1 of every pour of its seasonal Rescue Dog Red to the Baldwin Humane Society.
“We got involved with that organization because all five of the founding members had rescue dogs when we were getting started,” Fairhope Brewing owner Jim Foley said. “And over the last seven years, we have given [the Baldwin Humane Society] close to $10,000.”
Fairhope Brewing has also started hosting a monthly nonprofit night — the next one will be to benefit the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, July 9 — where $1 of every pour will go to the organization. The brewery will also host Brews & Braille on July 18, benefitting the Foundation Fighting Blindness, and Bingo & Brews (along with the Eastern Shore Chamber) on Thursday, July 25 to help children get the school supplies they need.
So don’t just drink beer — drink a beer that gives back!
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