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-Bear, Support Dry Grad, Provincial 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
(Angus proudly displays Central City Brewing’s Imperial IPA for Autism)