From The Times of India comes this NYT wire story on a new thing if only new to me:
"More people will want to support your business than if you're just doing it to pay for your second home," said Ryan Saari, a minister and a board member of the Oregon Public House, which is preparing to open here as soon as next month in a residential neighbourhood, pledged by its charter to donating all profits to charity. The beer-for-charity movement, like the microbrew phenomenon that preceded it, is different depending on where you look. In Houston, for example, where a group of giving-minded bar owners opened a place called the Okra Charity Saloon last month, patrons get a vote with every drink as to which charity should receive the next month's profits. A project in Melbourne, Australia, plans to put geography into the equation — sale of a beer from Africa, for example, will be linked to microloans or charities in the country of the beer's origin.
There's a lot in there. I am not sure I would move towards buying beer from a place just because it was charitable rather than for profit. I mean the beer would have to be good. And high price matching high principles did not see me rushing to buy a six of Westvleteren when I had the chance recently. I'd still be wanting to make sure the beer was both good and the price matched the market. Don't get me wrong. I have been doing micro loans through Kiva for years, mainly to folk offering beer in small shops in the third world. It is good to do good.
We've had many beer and church stories over the years but is this different? Is this the movement that creates a new breed of craft brewer, less focused on plan to be the rock star who, you know, doesn't rock? Taking a pass on the extreme after party or even the one in the brew house, looking past the kettle at something of a higher calling? Not sure if I could bear adding sanctimony to the charges one might hear being made. Is that unkind? Sure is. Would you go? Would you hunt a brewery out that was based on these principles?