Trying not to be COVID-19 all the time here, but it is a reality impacting every aspect of everybody’s every day life. Fortunately, the NJ Beer community is an incredibly strong community of breweries, beer sellers, and beer drinkers. I’ve praised the community in the past and how, in large part, through New Jersey Craft Beer, all the constituents – the people making the beer to the people buying the beer – realize that working together truly does make the participants stronger themselves and the community stronger as a whole.
Along those lines, about a week ago, the fine folks at South Jersey Beer Scene announced Brewery Strong:
Brewery Strong is a non-profit organization that supports people in the brewing, bar, and restaurant industries through programs offering financial assistance, continuing education, and other professional development opportunities.
Excerpted from their Brewery Strong’s opening blog post:
Brewery Strong is the result of Rob Callaghan’s vision to do something to help people in the brewery, bar, and restaurant professions during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Rob, the Sales Manager of Tuckahoe Brewing Company, was a guest on the South Jersey Beer Scene Live! show on March 24th, 2020 and ended the show by saying “Brewery Strong”, and it stuck. “I just wanted to do something to help where I could. We have an amazing community and a lot of people are struggling during this unprecedented time. I knew that we could do something to bring a little big of light to our brothers and sisters in the hospitality industry”.
Rob asked a few of his friends how to make this happen, and within two weeks a Non-profit was formed, board members and trustees were asked to join, and a live announcement was made on the South Jersey Beer Scene Live! show on April 20th, 2020. The response was overwhelming and immediate with over 1000 Facebook followers in the first 24 hours. The message grew quickly and the organization received support from Craft Beer fans and many businesses, pledging donations and buying merchandise from the Brewery Strong Store (100% of the profit goes directly to Brewery Strong), and asking how they could help.
They are accepting straight up donations or, what I assume will interest many people, merchandise with the great logo on it, with 100% of the profit going directly to Brewery Strong. Currently that merchandise includes T-shirts, mugs, and stickers with Pint Glasses (hopefully!) on the way.
In terms of the people behind the organization, they’ve got a virtual Who’s Who in NJ Beer/Brewing backing the organization:
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
- President Rob Callaghan, Tuckahoe Brewing Company
- Vice President John Couchoud, South Jersey Beer Scene
- Treasurer-Alexis Degan, New Jersey Brewers Association
- Secretary-Matt Czigler, Czig Meister Brewing Co
- Board Member-Cindy De Rama, Twin Elephant Brewing Company
- Augie Carton, Carton Brewing Co
- Mike Kivowitz, New Jersey Craft Beer
- Krystle Lockman, Axe And Arrow Brewing
Bottom line, this is a good organization with well-known people in NJ behind it, so it is worth donating to or supporting if it is within your means.
As a reminder, I’ve been updating the COVID-19 page here fairly frequently, including today.