WITH THE HOLIDAYS approaching, my thoughts are on eating good food with great beer. As usual, I have a bunch of suggestions. But first, I want to make a pitch to support those who don't have enough to eat.
This season, I'm partnering with Philabundance, the city's food bank, to drive hunger from our community. It's a very simple program that I'm calling Eat, Drink & Be Generous, and it works like this: The next time you buy a sixpack, I want you to plunk down an equal amount to help buy food for the needy.
Just head to joesixpack.net and click on the Philabundance link.
It doesn't matter how much you give, whether you're matching a $6.99 sixer of Yuengling or the $35 you just laid out for a pick-a-six selection of exotic imports at your local deli.
The point is: Whatever you think of beer, it is a nonessential item, at least when compared with the loaf of bread or gallon of milk for a family who cannot afford groceries.
Donating some of your beer money so someone else can eat is a reasonable and generous gesture, a neighborly step toward building a better community.
I can't say I came up with this idea out of the blue. Scores of bars, restaurants and breweries commonly support charitable organizations through donations of a portion of their sales.
This year, I was particularly struck by Harpoon Brewing's Grateful Harvest, a cranberry-flavored ale that it brews for Thanksgiving. It's made with fruit donated by the A.D. Makepeace cranberry farm in Massachusetts.
Harpoon donates $1 for every sixpack sold to the local food bank where the beer was purchased. In the last two years, it's raised nearly $50,000 for food banks, and this season it anticipates raising another $35,000.
So here's a distant farm and an out-of-town brewery taking a portion of their profits and giving it to Philabundance so it can buy more food for Philadelphia's needy families.