Beer for Good
Austin Beerworks, Meanwhile Brewing and Kaiju Cut & Sew Release Social Harmony: A Kaiju Brew, benefiting Austin’s AAPI CommunityJanuary 24, 2023 | Ruvani de Silva
Austin Beerworks co-founder and director of brewing operations Will Golden and Kaiju Cut & Sew owner Chris Gomez are back celebrating the Lunar New Year and fundraising for their local Asian American and Pacific Islander communities with Social Harmony: A Kaiju Brew Roasted Barley Tea- Infused Gold Lager, brewed to herald the Year of the Rabbit.
We might be a little biased, but supporting local journalism is critical not only to maintaining a democratic society but also to providing platforms for small businesses and individuals in industries like craft beer.
Unfortunately over the last decade, countless numbers of publications have suffered from budget cuts, key departures, and in some cases closures. In the beer industry alone, we’ve seen notable departures from peers like DRAFT Magazine, BeerPulse, The Hop Review, and All About Beer Magazine before it was eventually revived earlier this year.
Last week a shooter opened fire at Club Q, an LGBTQ bar in Colorado Springs killing five people. Richard Fierro, an Army combat veteran and co-owner of Atrevida Beer Co., was one of the two men who subdued the shooter, preventing further casualties.
Beer Is Art | Obakeng Malope’s Campaign to Lift South Africa’s Youth Out of Poverty Through Craft BeerOctober 14, 2022 | Ruvani de Silva
Obakeng Malope has a mission. The South African brewer and filmmaker has started a project blending beer culture and social change with enormous scope on both a national and international level, and her hard work and tenacity has already led to significant press and multi-national collaboration.
Malope is the creator of Beer Is Art, an initiative to offer access to the craft beer industry to South Africa’s unemployed young people. In the second quarter of 2022, 4.8 million 15-34 year old South Africans were unemployed, 46.5% of the population in that age group. Malope believes that the growing South African craft beer industry has the potential to help lift some of these young people out of poverty. “The youth are sitting at home unemployed here in South Africa. The campaign teaches about beer, that beer is not something that you drink and get drunk off. We teach beer and food pairing, brewing, beer podcasting and licensing. We show them that they can turn beer into a career,” she says.
For an industry so tightly built around togetherness and community, the pandemic could have easily crippled many aspects that came to define the very fabric of craft beer. But the digital age has helped us to adapt quickly and for one online beer community, it was the perfect opportunity to serve as a resource for togetherness at a time when connecting in person was prohibited.
On June 24, 2022, the US Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe vs. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling giving women across the US the right to have an abortion. With thirteen states poised to enforce historic trigger laws banning all medically unnecessary abortions, and another thirteen considered likely to make abortion illegal, this decision is a devastatingly regressive setback for reproductive rights and places the lives of those who need reproductive care, particularly those from lower socio-economic and minority backgrounds at significant risk.
“To watch someone slowly fade away in front of your eyes over many years, and to not be able to do anything about it will stop you in your tracks. To know other individuals closely with the disease and ponder a similar outcome for them is challenging to say the least. It leaves you feeling helpless.”
Today, Resolute Brewing is wrapping up a month-long fundraiser for the Arapahoe County Early Childhood Council‘s (ACECC) “Parents as Teachers” program by selling specialized gift boxes. Importantly, this program provides resources for parents to help get their kids ready for school as research has shown that greater parent involvement is a critical link in the child’s development.
For the second year in a row, Jack’s Bottle Shop of Rochester, Minnesota is putting together its Do-It-4-MDOG fundraiser. This year the beneficiary is Children’s Minnesota, a place Jack’s Bottle Shop owner Jack Lester is very close to.
In Northern Virginia, resides Old Bust Head Brewing a 7,000 barrel producing brewery focused on making good beer and sustainability. Since its conception, owners Ike and Julie Broaddus envisioned their brewery to exemplify sustainability and make a richer community. When the brewery opened in 2014, they had already installed a geothermal system and renovated an old building.
As the 2022 Winter Olympics begin this Friday, February 4, New Belgium Brewing is pushing all sponsors of the games to have 2030 Climate Action plans. Furthermore, to generate awareness amongst beer drinkers New Belgium is producing a limited-edition, charity-fundraising Fat Tire Point of Snow Return, a Dark Helles brewed with spruce tips.
Austin Beerworks and Kaiju Cut & Sew Launch Eastern Philosophy: A Kaiju Brew – The First Beer Supporting Stop AAPI HateFebruary 2, 2022 | Ruvani de Silva
Sunday, January 30, was the launch of Eastern Philosophy: A Kaiju Brew – the first beer brewed to fundraise for Stop AAPI Hate. The brainchild of Will Golden, Director of Brewing Operations and Co-founder of Austin Beerworks and Chris Gomez, Owner of Kaiju Cut & Sew, the event brought together several local businesses, with hundreds of Austinites in attendance to show their support and get a taste of this very special beer.
On the afternoon of December 30th, high winds coming off the foothills near Boulder, Colorado interacted with a grass fire, causing reported 40-foot flames. Those same winds pushed the fire forward at a rapid pace, causing an emergency evacuation of the nearby town of Superior, and later on in the day, Louisville.
Early in the morning of December 11, 2021, tornadoes swept through Western Kentucky, destroying more than 1,000 properties and killing more than 70 people. Kentuckians and the craft beer community as a whole have a long history of banding together to help each other in times of crisis, and donations poured in almost immediately following the news.
During a year in which COVID-19 continues to affect all aspects of life, how are breweries sustainability goals progressing? To answer this question, I recently interviewed several sustainability leaders in the craft brewing industry. Over the next few weeks, I will share these conversations. My first interview is with Kris Spaulding, Owner and President of Brewery Vivant, which is located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Spaulding shared about the brewery’s progress over 2021 and what they hope to accomplish in 2022.
In episode 87 of The PorchCast, Tristan and Bryant made the trek up to Greeley to meet up with the good folks at WeldWerks Brewing, one of the country’s fastest-growing buzzy breweries. They were joined by Kristin Popcheff, Director of People and Culture, Skip Schwartz, the newly anointed Head Brewer, and Roy Van Anda, Community Engagement Manager.
During the initial phases of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the Colorado Brewers Guild (CBG) and the Left Hand Brewing Foundation joined forces to raise funds for the Colorado craft brewing industry by creating a benefit beer, Colorado Strong. For 2021, Colorado Strong returns as an India Pale Ale where proceeds will go towards the Colorado chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) as well as the CBG in support of membership fees and other CBG programs.
In episode 84 of The PorchCast, Tristan, Korey and Bryant were joined by journalist and author, Tara Nurin at Woods Boss Brewing during the Craft Brewers Conference to talk about her new book, A Woman’s Place is in the Brewhouse. We also had a chance to chat with Tara a bit more about her coverage of Brienne Allan’s new Brave Noise collaborative beer project.
If you’ve been a long-time PorchDrinking reader, you’ve likely been aware of how much our friends at On Tap Credit Union have done to support our efforts in covering the craft beer community, while also supporting growth among our Colorado breweries, affiliated producers, and employees.
Many groups in the craft beer industry are underrepresented, including the LGBTQ+ community. When Grace Weitz of Hop Culture let PorchDrinking know that a Queer Beer Festival was launching this year after the success of the Beers With(out) Beards festival, I knew I had to chat with Weitz to learn more about the festival and what sort of virtual events we can expect. The festival will be held on June 5, 2021 and tickets can be purchased here.