A Prost to Philanthropy

Last week I spent a post bashing the cunning of the Molson Coors corporation, who use a philanthropic veil to hawk product. Last week I also received an email from Pelican Brewery mentioning that they had officially made their donation of proceeds from the Brewers Games to two local charities, Nestucca’s Booster Club and Caring Cabin. It reminded me that while business is innately amoral--the goal is to make money, not benefit a particular cause--that doesn't mean it has to be immoral. In the case of our local breweries, they are far from it.

A few weeks back, the Oregon chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society had one of their two main fundraisers, a two-day bike event in Stayton. (Sally, my wife, is the director of finance there.) Full Sail was a sponsor of the event, and so far as I know, they didn't even mention this fact publicly. Of course, that's not unusual--companies regularly support philanthropic endeavors. (I'm sure Molson Coors has an entire department devoted to this.) But here's what was unusual. Sally was helping out at registration and happened to notice Jamie Emmerson, Full Sail's brewmaster, in line. He was there to bike the event. Full Sail had done their official part, and there was no need for Jamie to go above and beyond--except that real philanthropy is always about going above and beyond.

I mentioned an anecdote from the Brewers Games about how invested Pelican is in the philanthropic side of things. The Games are fun, but they might not be worth the hassle if there wasn't a greater good. Oregon breweries are a part of the community, and they really give back to the community. I could go on and on, but you get the point. I don't mention it as often as I should, but this is one of the finest things about our local brewing industry. Cheers to all of you.

Update. This just in from Laurelwood brewer Chad Kennedy, who rightly sensed that this was a moment to get a little ink:
"We're very excited about our next bottled beer- Prevale IPA- to be released in 22 oz bottles on September 1st throughout Oregon and Western Washington. We're excited not only because our brewers have created a great Northwest-style IPA, but also because the proceeds from each bottle sold will go towards a great cause.

"In collaboration with The Oregon Team in Training chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society our brewers created a benefit beer. We asked anyone with some inspiration and creativity to name the beer and after hundreds of entries Prevale was chosen as the winning name. A portion of the proceeds from every bottle will be donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for cancer research."