When asked about what the best part of Brisbane’s beer scene, I can unequivocally say it’s the people we have. Our bar staff, beer reps, brewers, and punters are, dare I say it, the best in the world. Hop into any one of our venues, get to chatting with a local, and you’ll be forced to agree with me. Collaborations, helpful advice, and educational insight all help to affirm this fact, but what really drives it home for me is how much our little city gives back to the community.
Charity can be a bit two-faced. On the one side, you have the telemarketers and the, for lack of a better description, annoying street sales people who stop you on the footpath to engage you in fake conversation before hitting you up with the pitch. Hired by massive companies that take a large chunk of your donation, these “charitable organizations” are less about getting money to the group they supposedly represent and more about signing you up to a monthly donation that ultimately ends in some faceless companies pockets.
On the flip side of this coin, however, are the folks who genuinely want to dig deep and help out the cause they’re passionate about. They’ll donate generously and sacrifice hours upon hours to help with fundraising efforts and volunteering. They’ll solicit for donations in a non-evasive fashion (at worst, they’ll fill your Facebook feed with a stream of donation requests), and you can be certain that that money goes to the cause. Our beer scene falls into this category. Here are some fine examples of that altruism.
World’s Greatest Shave
Last year, Newstead Brewing along with blogger Darren from 250beers and others got together and participated in the ‘World’s Greatest Shave’. Through a lunch special and donations, they managed to pull together over $5500 for the leukaemia foundation.
All Inn Brissie to the Bay
All Inn Brewing has recently gotten involved with the ‘Brissie to the Bay’ cycle ride, which raises funds for MS research. They held a charity night, surpassing their goal of $1000 in profits for the cause, and in the end, coming up with $4080!
The fundraising for Brissie to the Bay touched All Inn on a personal level. Lyndon Pasztor tells me:
“My motivation grew tenfold when one day a lovely lady suffering with Multiple Sclerosis came and visited the All Inn Brewing Co brewery bar. This lady had seen the posters which stated we were fundraising for the Brissie to the Bay and our donation box, she expressed a gratitude unlike any I had ever experienced before. It deeply touched me, it reaffirmed the necessity to participate in such events and increased the All Inn Brewing Co team motivation to give it our all (or go “All Inn” if you like puns!) and really make a difference.”
All Inn supports a new charity every month, and will select their charity based on either an event that’s going on that month or from suggestions from patrons/family members. Keep an eye out on their Facebook page to see whom they are supporting next!
Blood Sweat and Craft Beers
I, myself, was privileged enough to be part of both the 2014 and 2015 Team Blood Sweat and Craft Beers run of the City2South. Brewers, bloggers, bar staff, and beer reps joined forces to raise money this year for RUOK?, a charity that empowers people with the tools to help out others with depression and prevent suicide.
This year, Team BS&CB smashed their goal of $10,000 and brought in over $15,000 to take home the trophy for the top fundraising team!
Ollie’s Dry July
Ollie’s Dry July hits a bit closer to home for Newstead Brewer, Mark Howes.
“My best friend’s son, Oliver, was diagnosed with Leukaemia in August last year. I’m not a heaps supportive person, Id even go as far to say as a pretty shit friend in general. I really wanted to do something to help them out and although they originally abhorred the idea of us raising some charity for them, they have been burned with a year of hospital bills on a single income. There might only be one thing I can do to help out their family, so I’ll give it a red hot go.”
To help raise funds, Mark and a few others have gone through the month of July without alcohol. For Mark, this is especially tough, considering the fact that tasting beer is actually part of his job description. To make it even more difficult, he has sworn off another brewed beverage: coffee.
“My sadistic side likes the idea of a brewer doing Dry July”
Donations can still be made here to help out this really great cause. You can also try some of “Ollie’s Karma Keg” on Saturday, the 1st of August at the Scratch. 100% of takings from this keg of Newstead Brewing Two to the Valley will be going towards the charity, and it will also be a few of the Dry July participants first beer back. Expect to see some wobbly legs.
The Need to Keep it Local
Joining in on the month, but starting a bit earlier then everyone else, is Luke Shield. Luke has been part of a few of the above mentioned charities, and really believes in digging in and helping out your community.
“Charity work is and always has been very important to me. I’m blessed that the company I work for recognises the importance of corporate social responsibility, and allow me to donate my time to many charity organisations outside of the beer world as well”
Aside from being part of the World’s Greatest Shave, Luke gets involved with a lot of smaller, grassroots charities.
“There are so many smaller local charities that also need help” Luke explains. “One such example is Beef Bank, a charity I’m involved in where we receive donations of cattle (or funds to purchase cattle) and feed – the cattle are raised at a property in Stanthorpe, and eventually the meat is then used to feed the homeless and disadvantaged families in Brisbane. These types of charities are often overlooked because they pour all of their funds into helping others; not mass marketing campaigns and administration costs. These charities are comprised solely of volunteers, and could really use the extra financial help.”
There is constantly some form of fundraising going on in this great community of ours and many ways you can contribute. You can donate your time or money, or help by giving generously at one of the many Karma Keg events that go on around the city. Get out there, and get involved!