Breweries Contribute To Hurricane Relief
By Kevin J. Brown
Brewers and brewery employees have long been known for supporting community events. That is certainly true in the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey and Irma as breweries large and small, all across the country, pitch in to help with relief efforts.
The Anheuser-Busch brewery in Cartersville, GA shipped truckloads of canned water to the Harvey-ravaged Houston area. The company says the brewery periodically shuts down beer production to can and stockpile water for emergency situations. Over 37,000 cases of water have been shipped to Texas in total. MillerCoors shipped a similar amount, while Oscar Blues and Kentucky’s Braxton Brewing joined in to the tune of 1,000 cases each.
Small, local breweries were not to be left out either. In the days leading up to Hurricane Irma Florida craft breweries suspended beer production and started filling kegs, fermenters and other tankage with filtered water. Some allowed employees to take water-filled kegs home, while others offered to fill growlers or other containers, gratis, for all comers. Wynwood Brewing in Miami and MIA Brewing in Doral contributed to these efforts. Also providing free water were Angry Chair, Coppertail and 81Bay in Tampa along with Pinellas Ale Works and Flying Boat in St. Petersburg.
Hop Life Brewery in Port St. Lucie held a Beer For Hurricane Supplies for residents in the Keys. Those donating to clothes or food to the effort got a ticket for a free beer.
Monetary donations for relief efforts are also coming in from breweries, their employees and customers. Besides canning water Oscar Blues, through the CAN’d Aid Foundation and Live For Live Music, held a Harvey Relief Concert in Boulder CO, all the proceeds of which went to relief efforts. Braxton Brewing donated $1 per pint of beer sold, and also coordinated donations of food and clothing.
Anheuser-Busch donated $1 million to the Red Cross. Lone Star Brewing is matching $2 for every $1 donated by employees, with a $250,000 goal being set. Tennessee Brew Works is contributing $1 per pint to the Red Cross, while MillerCoors distributors are raising money also. Constellation Brands has donated $100,000 and will match employees’ contributions up to another $100,000.
Breweries in Louisiana have been very active, with most of the states 30 breweries contributing in some way. Notable are Abita, Bayou Teche Brewing, and Royal Brewing who have all held fundraisers and made contributions.
Spoetzl Brewer in Shiner, TX contributed to Harvey aid efforts, and donated $100,000 toward Irma relief. Yuengling Brewery has donated $50,000 for hurricane relief via the Red Cross. “This donation will help with relief efforts and continue to help in recovery efforts. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone, including our employees, who have also been affected,” said Wendy Yuengling, chief administrative officer. “Please join us in supporting those communities that have been impacted.” Yuengling invites customers to donate through their website at www.yuengling.com.