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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Charitable Beers: Brewing for a Cause

Ahhh, Father’s Day! I wish I could be back in Louisiana with my dad. A bike ride and some blueberry picking sound perfect and I think my dad would agree that a good beer would be the perfect cap to the day. Luckily, the Abita Brew Pub is actually only about an 8 ½ mile jaunt from my parent’s house.  You might remember in a previous guest post, "Cheers for Charity," by my dear friend Manda Schweitzer, that she gave a nod to Abita Beer as a charitable brewer.

Manda’s post discussed how in 2010, in response to the BP oil spill, Abita joined forces with the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board (LSPMB), to form the SOS – A Charitable Fund to assist with the rescue and restoration of not only the coastal environment, but the industries and the individuals affected as well. Abita then developed an SOS charitable Pilsner and SOS related retail merchandise to generate money for the fund. This wasn’t Abita’s first charitable endeavor, you see, after Hurricane Katrina Abita Beer developed Restoration Pale Ale to help those affected by Katrina. In just two years, the special brew raised over $500,000.

I just love the New Orleans inspired packaging!
 Other breweries, such as 50 Back Fine Beer Purveyors, are taking similar strides. Company founders Paige Haley and Kimberly Rogers wanted to find a way to thank our active troops and veterans and their families for their many sacrifices. So, they developed 50 Back Lager- the brew of the brave. Every time someone buys 50 Back lager, 50% of the proceeds are donated to charities that support veterans and active service members and their families, such as the USO, Homes For Our Troops and more. Based in New England, the beer is quickly gaining popularity for its taste and mission. To learn more about where you can find 50 back visit their website, so you can enjoy a great lager and support the troops.

Can't get much more patriotic than that!
Finally, there is DC based Hook & Ladder. The Hook & Ladder Brewing Company is a mission-based brewery founded by Rich Fleischer, a volunteer firefighter and his business-minded brother, Matt. Hook & Ladder provides an exceptional line of beer while giving back to burned firefighters and burn survivors in communities across America and keeping donations local.  The beers include a golden ale, “Backdraft Brown,” and the “Flashpoint” pale ale, as well as a the cleverly titled seasonal “Ember Amber” and the "Pipe and Drum" Irish Ale.
The folks behind Hook & Ladder helping the DC Burn Foundation
The company also has a philanthropic program, A Penny in Every Pint, which further convinces distributors to match their gift, helping to raise $4 for each barrel of beer sold. Through the new A Quarter in Every Case program, Hook & Ladder and its wholesale partners donate 25 cents locally from each case sold to the same burn organizations that benefit from A Penny in Every Pint. Since 2005, Hook & Ladder has donated over $60,000 from its programs to help others. 

So, while I might not be a "beer girl," I know my dad appreciates a nice beer - particularly on stressful days, like, I don’t know, my wedding! Who says weddings have to be all champagne and signature cocktails? Not my dad, or my fiancé, that's for sure. We’ll be serving Abita Beer at the reception, and who knows, maybe next time my dad's in DC, we can do Father’s Day a bit late and I can treat him to a nice, cold Hook & Ladder beer. Local + charitable + beer, now what can be better than that?

With the whole family outside of Hoffbrau House, Munich, Germany.

 Happy Father’s Day, Daddy - and to all the other great Dad's out there too!

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