Quietly and without fanfare, Georgetown Brewing is a monumentally philanthropic business. Though the brewery never toots its own horn, its dedication to supporting the community through fundraising efforts is beyond admirable; it is heroic, especially for a business of its size.
Earlier this year, as the pandemic tightened its grip around the normal world’s throat, and state-mandated shutdowns and restrictions began to decimate local restaurants and bars, Georgetown Brewing stepped up and did something it had always said it would never do: it put its beloved flagship beer, Manny’s Pale Ale, in 12-ounce aluminum cans.
The plan was to use Manny’s Pale Ale, which for many years was the most-ubiquitous draft beer around Seattle, as a mechanism to raise money to support restaurant and bar workers impacted by the pandemic. The brewery pledged to donate all of the proceeds from the sales of “Manny’s Cannies” to non-profit organizations.
Georgetown Brewing just announced via social media that the program it launched in May has earned $412,000 for local bar and restaurant workers. It was a limited release, originally slated for just six weeks, but continued into the summer, presumably by popular demand. Uh, popular? The brewery sold 2,500 cases of Manny’s through its own retail shop the first two days it was available. Add to that how quickly it flew off the shelves at grocery stores and other retail outlets and, yeah, popular.
“Now, more than ever, your local bars and restaurants need your help,” said a statement from the brewery when the project was announced back in May 2020. “They have always been there for you. They have fed you, they have provided shelter, they have kept you hydrated… and your favorite bartender has listened to every one of your stupid stories. It’s time to return the favor. 100% of our profits from the sale of Manny’s cans will go to support bar and restaurant workers throughout the state of Washington.”
“Thanks to everyone that purchased a six-pack, and to all of our partners that were absolutely vital in making this happen: Great Western Malt, Hollingbery & Son, HOPSTEINER, Roy Farms, Inc., Columbia Distributing, Columbia Wenatchee, Crown Distributing, Midway Beverage, Pioneer Distribution, Tripp Distributing, Crown Beverage and Packaging, and WestRock. All of you are amazing!”
“A lot has changed since we started, and some organizations we were hoping to donate to have ceased operating, so we had to pivot a bit to make sure the funds were able to serve workers [across] the whole state.”
“One of our recipients is Big Table,” said the announcement. “Big Table has been actively caring for those in crisis in the restaurant and hospitality industry in the Northwest for 11 years. Their model is unique and effective – starting with a referral from a colleague, manager, supplier, or friend… anyone in the industry or outside it who sees someone in crisis. Referrals are made through a simple online form at www.big-table.com. Currently, Big Table has teams serving King County and Spokane County in the Northwest.”
“In addition to our commitment to Big Table, we are partnering with United Way,” the announcement continues. “United Way has chapters in every county in Washington State. And because United Way also works with a large network of local community organizations across the state, they have the reach and resources to serve the greatest number of people. As funds are distributed, nonprofits in each community will be the ones to announce the availability of these funds to bar and restaurant workers – keep an eye out for these announcements!”
“We probably don’t need to remind you to please keep in mind that bars and restaurants still need your help this fall and winter. If you don’t feel comfortable dining in or drinking in, that’s ok… buy some take out! If you can afford to, please do whatever you can to help keep their lights on. Imagine a world without bars and restaurants. We don’t want to.”
Thank you Georgetown Brewing for all you do for our community. You’re a good citizen and the Washington Beer Blog is proud to call you a friend.