One of the things that I love most about craft breweries is how engaged they are with their local communities. They aren’t just some massive faceless entity pumping out suds to make the most profit possible. Village Brewery uses the slogan: “It takes a village to raise a beer. And a beer to raise a village.” to emphasize how community-oriented they are. I had the pleasure of attending one of their recent events which involved the Village Wit, a pair of bull testicles and a really good cause.
Brewing Up A Better City
When Larry, Jim and five other friends with over 150 years of combined beer-experience sat down to create Village Brewery one of the things that they all agreed on was that they wanted to do some good in the community. For Village it is not only about brewing beer, there has to be some community involvement and their community happens to be Calgary. Village only focuses on one market and by doing this they are able to immerse themselves in it completely.
One of the obvious ways that they engage with the community is through their constant support of the local arts scene. As Jim said, “art is essential for a community”. This is a statement that I completely agree with because having a vibrant arts scene draws people to a place. Not only do they sponsor numerous events & festivals around the city (music, photography, painting, etc.) but they also contribute 10% of their profits to the YYC art community.
Another way in which Village contributes to the constant improvement of this city is through charity. And I am happy to report that I was able to take part in their most recent charitable venture.
July 4th at 5 o’clock saw a pretty packed Bottlescrew Bill’s, especially since Stampede festivities were in full swing. One section of the patio was reserved for the 2nd Annual Village NUTRaiser event. Side note: this event was a part of the Bottlescrew Bill Testicle Festival where a variety of dishes involving Prairie Oysters are on the menu to raise awareness for Prostate Cancer.
When I got there with my buddy Rob (who took some of these photos) the band was setting up along with some of the Village crew and Prostate Cancer Centre team. But it did not take long for the party to get started.
I should mention that Bill Brooks was also getting prepared. Mr. Brooks (the organizer) has been involved with raising significant amounts to fight Prostate Cancer and is one of the most generous and philanthropic men whom I have had the pleasure of meeting. Dr. Bryan Donnely, one of Canada’s foremost urologists, was at the party as well. Overall I’d say that there was a pretty solid crowd.
The beer itself was a Village Wit accompanied by a pair of bull’s testicles (mandatory ingredient), pineapple, ancho peppers and waimea hops (a New Zealand variation with some nice citrus notes). To tell you the truth all of those additions really did a good job in covering up the nutty flavour. If I did not have the image of massive bull balls floating around in my mug I would not have been able to detect anything reproductive at all 🙂
It cost $100 for a pint of the ball beer which went directly towards the Calgary Prostate Cancer Centre. This may be the most expensive glass of beer that I have ever purchased, but I would gladly do it all over again for such a good cause.
My lasting impression from the event was seeing a bunch of local Calgarians coming together to dance, socialize and drink some ballsy beer to raise money for local charity. It was an enjoyable day during Stampede season.
Future Village Events
Jim clued me in about an upcoming event scheduled for mid-September that sounds like fun. It is called Circle the Wagons and will involve approximately 25 YYC food trucks, the Village beer truck and some local musicians.
That should be another great event to go out and try good food while being entertained by local talent and meet some of the fine people that you share this city with. All while enjoying a few pints of fresh locally crafted beer. What a nice way to enjoy your city. So until the next time cheers to local craft beer!