When Charity Meets the Beer Industry

Remember the good ol’ days where brewers paraded scantily clad women in bikinis and ultra macho muscle men across the screen to promote their beer.  It was definitely a simpler time; a time when it was difficult to find variety in beer (especially in Ontario) and the masses didn’t appear to really care too much about taste.  The funny thing is that it wasn’t that long ago but times have changed.  The image of beer seems to be switching from fun recklessness to more of a focus on quality and the brewing process.

One image that we don’t see enough of is in the good deeds brewers do on a daily basis.  Breweries have always had a strong focus on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) , giving millions of dollars to various charities but do we ever really hear much about it?  In all my years, I can’t remember hearing much mention of the charitable and philanthropic endeavours undertaken by our favourite brewers, but I know they existed.  Even today, one doesn’t hear much about the various charities that beer companies support.  I’m not sure if it is just quiet and humble leadership, or whether it is just the average person doesn’t think of a beer company as being charitable (so why bother promoting it?).

Where we do see public displays for acts of charity is in government/quasi-government owned distribution centres where alcohol is sold to the public.  For example, the British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch supports Share-a-BearSupport Dry GradProvincial Employees Community Services Fund, store-based fundraising for local service organizations and Red Cross Disaster Relief.   Moving eastward, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) lists the various charities they help fundraise, which is too numerous to include in this blog but appears in a buried page on their website: http://www.lcbo.com/socialresponsibility/images/donation_box_2013_en.pdf.

This is all phenomenal work and I think these organizations should be commended for their efforts and achievements.  What confuses me is that I honestly think that on average, local brewers offer just as much in terms of CSR to the community but we just don’t hear about it.

That’s why the Hounds were excited to learn of Central City Brewing’s offering of an Imperial IPA.  The Surrey, B.C. brewer delivers an intensely satisfying hoppy ale, that dances on the tongue at first and smooths out in flavour with a mild sweetness at the end.  Aside from being a very tasty beverage, what initially prompted us to purchase this beer was a thin band around the neck of the bottle, which read, ‘$5 PER BOTTLE GOES TO AUTISM RESEARCH.’  At under $10 per bottle, that was an incredible donation and made us feel like we were somehow assisting in this great cause.  

As we said earlier, times have changed, which is a good thing!  People are more actively aware and interested in the world around them and will gladly support their favourite breweries in their charitable efforts.  That being said, the Beer Hounds are issuing a challenge to all the other brewers to take the example made by Central City Brewing and proudly show us how you’re trying to make this world a better place.  You’ll definitely have our support!

Cheers to you all!

Canadian Beer Hounds

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(Angus proudly displays Central City Brewing’s Imperial IPA for Autism)

 

Thanksgiving Greetings from the Canadian Beer Hounds

On this day of Thanksgiving in Canada, the Hounds have dispersed to their respective families, each grateful for many things this year.

 
We are grateful for friends, family, life in general and the opportunity to meet fun and interesting people along our journey.  Since we established ourselves as the Canadian Beer Hounds, we have been amazed at the support we’ve received from the brewing community and from people just interested in who we are.  Right now, we’re inconsequential in the grand scheme of things, yet we are being treated with the utmost respect, receiving helpful suggestions along the way.
 
For the Hounds, we have many things to be grateful for and one of the chief causes of our gratitude is this great nation we live in – Canada.  May everybody who is celebrating Thanksgiving today take a moment and remember exactly what they’re grateful for – for us, the list is too lengthy to include in this blog.
 
Now, aside from determining who will cut the turkey, the biggest problem we have today is in choosing from among the great brews we’ve been introduced to lately. 
 
Happy Thanksgiving!
Canadian Beer Hounds
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An Introduction to the Canadian Beer Hounds

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At a recent event, an inquisitive young lady asked us, “Who are the Canadian Beer Hounds?”   The answer is simple and complicated at the same time.  The simple answer is that we’re a bunch of people (guys and gals) who treat beer like a fine wine.  We drink it because we enjoy the complexity found in various styles of beer and we celebrate the experience in tasting each one.  The more convoluted answer is that we are all from different backgrounds, different careers, ages, social statuses and relationship states.  About the only commonality we share amongst ourselves is our appreciation of quality beer (and that we all think we’re awesome!).

Next question people generally ask is, “How did we choose the name?”  That stems from the face of the Hounds – a boxer named Angus (pictured in this blog).  At four months old, Angus was caught stealing beer during a house party, in which he grabbed a bottle of Granville Island’s Lion’s Winter Ale by the neck and tipped its contents into his mouth.  After that initial introduction to beer, everyone had to learn to be very careful when around him to ensure he wouldn’t steal their beverage.  A: It isn’t good for him; and B: Not many people are willing to drink from a bottle after a dog has slobbered on it.

So, Angus the Beer Hound developed a reputation early on in his young life.  As he continued to grow, everyone realized that he was the most laid back boxer they’d ever seen.  People would flock around Angus to take photos of him chill-axing in somebody’s arms.  During house party beer tastings, he would sit like a child in people’s laps as we sampled different beer.  It was during one of these sessions and after sampling a few too many different brews that the creative juices started to flow amongst the participants and the name Canadian (because we’re all Canadian) Beer Hounds was born.

Now, don’t confuse us with the types who just drink to get drunk, inebriated or schnockered…whatever term you relate to getting stupidly hammered.  We learned our lessons the hard way and found that when sampling multiple brews in a night, by the fifth or sixth round, nobody is giving relevant answers and remembering a favourite beer the next day is nearly impossible.  We now focus on appreciating the hard work of the brewmaster who developed the creation we are sampling.

Our main purpose is to share what we enjoy with those who will listen/read/associate with a bunch of laid back people who enjoy a good pint (or two).

In an age where social media has given everyone a voice, we hope to add value to those who follow us by introducing them to something we enjoy.  We don’t know where this journey will lead us but we hope to meet interesting people, develop some great friendships, try  fantastic beer and live the experiences that create unbelievable bar legends.

Cheers to you all!

Canadian Beer Hounds

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