Friday, January 18, 2013

Drink up, and fix the shore

Here's how you can put your beer dollar to a good cause:

Flying Fish plans to release a wheat-pale ale next month to raise money for hurricane relief efforts.

The beer, F.U. Sandy (the FU stands for forever unloved, and perhaps what else you're thinking), will be the first new brew coming out of Flying Fish since it moved to Somerdale from its founding location of Cherry Hill last year.

The brewery describes the beer as a 50-50 balance of two-row pale malt and American white wheat, hopped with ADHA 483, an experimental hop donated by the American Dwarf Hop Association. F.U. Sandy is an inaugural use for the hop in a beer, the brewery says.

The 100-keg production run will be draft only, but Flying Fish left the door open for something further, saying on its website "we'll see what happens."

OK, that said, here's the really important part: The brewery forecasts raising $50,000 to be steered to a New Jersey-based, grassroots charity dedicated to storm relief. The brewery is taking nominations on which charity and you can send yours via email:

Now, $50,000 may not sound like a lot of money (it is for a comparatively small company) when the damage from the Oct. 29th superstorm – a hurricane that swallowed a nor'easter and went on a major tear – rivals the entire state budget and that Long Beach Island alone got shredded to the tune of $1 billion.

But it is this: It's private industry contributing, and it's an example for other businesses that can to follow. Furthermore, at a time when holdouts in the U.S. House of Representatives suggest the private sector play a role (which it has – $400 million raised from relief drives/events, including the 12-12-12 concert) and prefer to play politics, stalling votes on aid, trying to blow up the aid package, and just generally and needlessly screwing things up, every little bit helps. (See The Daily Show's Jon Stewart size things up here.  And here. The rants are the both second segments in the show.)

Also, there is a serious problem at play here: The House finally approved $50 billion in aid; the Senate approved $60 billion by a far more bipartisan vote; the two versions have to be reconciled before they can get anywhere near a presidential pen for signing. And last week saw evidence of further skirmishes over the aid package, so this could get drawn out even more. Meanwhile, the Star Jet roller coaster sits in the drink.

So, by all means, fill your growlers, raise a pint and raise some money. Because it really matters.

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