As we look back over the past year and all of the unexpected challenges that came with it, we reflect on how lucky we are to be a part of this amazing community. With that privilege comes the responsibility of contributing to our community, and we have found new and creative ways of offering support during these unprecedented times. To that end this year we formed the Reuben’s Brews Foundation, the non-profit arm of the brewery that supports the work already being done by community partners and fills other needs where gaps exist in the areas of education, environmental protection, arts, human rights, animal rights, health and social justice.
Since its inception in 2013, our Thank You Thursday program has provided us with the opportunity to partner with and support different neighborhood nonprofit organizations every week. Despite closing our Brewtap tasting room which housed the program, we found a way to revamp the program, leveraging short video interviews to raise awareness and support for organizations through to-go options while on-site visits were limited. Over the years we have raised over $150,000 through this program, one pint at a time.
When we saw our friends in the industry suffering as new covid guidelines limited their access to work, we developed a beer called You Are Not Alone and donated 100 percent of the profits—$28,000—to Big Table, a Washington State charity supporting those who lost their jobs. Another ten breweries and several homebrewers made their own You Are Not Alone beers while donating to the effort.
This year we saw the world awaken to the legacy of racial injustice that has plagued our country since even before its founding. We knew that posting on social media alone or even doing a single fundraiser was not enough, and we have committed ourselves to doing more. We did a special series of fundraising events to help raise funds for Black Lives Matter Seattle King County, Equal Justice Initiative and Campaign Zero. We are currently pouring a beta batch of a collaboration with Métier Brewing Company, and when we release the beer early next year it will help fund the first cohort of our upcoming mentorship program geared towards underrepresented groups in the brewing industry. Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for more information on how to join or support the program.
Because we are stronger together, we have fostered some wonderful partnerships to amplify our impact.
- We brewed Reuben’s Crush Cancer this year in loving memory of our former brewer, Dean Mochizuki. We were fortunate to work with our friends at Roy Farms and Yakima Chief Hops on the beer to raise $6,500 towards cancer research.
- We brewed Black Is Beautiful with our friend Annie Johnson, in line with countless other breweries across the nation who joined the project spearheaded by Weathered Souls to raise awareness and funds to end police brutality on people of color.
- We partnered with our friends and neighbors in the Ballard Brewed Coalition on a collaboration beer called (You Should) Smile More which raised $1,800 for Pink Boots Society, which empowers women in the beer industry through education.
- We worked with our longtime friends at Puget Sound Goat Rescue on a special beer called the Wolfsburg Spezial to support those adorable kids.
We are looking forward to continuing these and developing new partnerships in line with our forthcoming Reuben’s Brews “Foundation Series” of fundraising beers.
We at Reuben’s Brews and the Reuben’s Brews Foundation thank you for your support and wish you all the best in 2021! The best is yet to come!