Lew Bryson has sent out notice of a couple of events you may want to get to if you are a little closer than I am, sitting here ten hours too far north:
Opportunity Number One: Next Tuesday, September 13, please consider attending the Greatest Beers of The World, a benefit for the American Red Cross at the Village Hall, in Spread Eagle Shopping Center, Wayne, PA. From 5:30 to 9:30, you'll learn about beer and Red Cross relief efforts from keynote speaker and Anchor Brewing president FRITZ MAYTAG - that's right, Mr. Microbrewery himself, the single most thoughtful and articulate spokesperson for the craft brewing movement (and believe me, I've heard plenty of them; Fritz rules). If you've never heard Fritz Maytag talk about beer, that alone would be worth the $100 per person donation. But you also get a smorgasbord of great food and BEER from some excellent microbrewers: Anchor, Victory, Sierra Nevada, Harpoon, Stoudt's, Magic Hat; imports like Duvel, Hacker-Pschorr, Newcastle, and the broad portfolios of InBev USA and Merchant du Vin; even Anheuser-Busch is backing this with their Michelob line. And you should back it too, because it all benefits the Red Cross. Advanced tickets (which are the way to go) are available: call Olivia Whitt at 215-299-4022 or e-mail her at email@example.com. Don't overdo the eating and drinking: if you head over to Georges' (503 W. Lancaster Ave.) for dinner after, they'll donate 10% of your tab to the Red Cross. They're making a real effort on their beer selection there, too: time to show 'em a little love.I often am very jealous of the life of Lew, the man who has carved a career from knowing and loving beer from the consumer's point of view. It is also great to see how that interest of his and others can be used for a great cause. For another take on doing good while enjoying beer, check out Beer Church, a group that combines the social enjoyment of beer with charitable works and civic responsibility. I have been wondering how I might add a virtual congregation of this interesting sect to what we are doing here at A Good Beer Blog.
Opportunity Number Two: If you're a serious beer geek and you want to help out, I've got just thing for you: a rare beer benefit auction. On September 24, from 1-5 in the afternoon, Sean Bolan's (1236 Light St.) will host a charity beer silent auction at their bar on Federal Hill in Baltimore. This is a chance to score some seriously heavy collector's beers: verticals of Thomas Hardy's Ale, Samichlaus from the early 1990's and even 1980s, early Anchor OSA, some big 750s of Belgians, breweriana, and some truly rare bottlings, including one I contributed: what is probably the last bottle of an excellent pseudo-lambic done by the long-defunct Blue-N-Gold brewpub in Clarendon, Virginia. Whiskey-lovers, don't pass it up: I'm also contributing a bottle of Evan Williams Single Barrel 1994 Vintage, signed by both Parker Beam and his son Craig, the two master distillers at Heaven Hill. I've got some of this stuff (and the ever-changing details; this is coming together on the fly, although the participation and donation ends are solid) up on a webpage at http://www.lewbryson.com/baltimore%20auction.htm. Admission is free (a donation is encouraged; why not make it $10?), Sean Bolan's is contributing the proceeds of beer sales from the afternoon (and THANKS to the breweries that are donating draft beer), and EVERY dollar from the auction goes to hurricane relief, split evenly between the Red Cross and the Salvation Army. Come on by...there's a good chance that some of the winners of the auctions will pull a "Year of the Comet" and crack open what they've bought for immediate shared consumption. If you'd like to donate some great rare beers or breweriana for the auction, contact Sandy Mitchell (Mid-Atlantic Brewing News Baltimore correspondent, who's putting all this together) immediately at LNER4472@bcpl.net.
By the way - buy the new book by Lew, too!