By Jeff Maisey
Six Virginia craft breweries have been selected to participate in Craft For Causes, the non-profit bringing the booming craft brew industry together with live music to support charitable causes.
John Nichols started the program seven years ago in his hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico by approaching Tedeschi Trucks Band. Last year he added craft beer into the mix by pitching the idea to Marble Brewery, who created a special one-off beer and charged an extra dollar in the taproom earmarked for the non-profit cause. This year the idea makes its debut as a nationally touring fundraiser.
“I asked the guy at Marble if they thought I could get brewers across the country to do this,” explained Nichols. “He said, ‘If you’re helping their community, I think this thing could turn into something really cool.’”
While Tedeschi Trucks Band rolls its Wheels of Soul Tour into 20 cities across America this summer, Craft For Causes will be uniting 41 of the nation’s craft beer makers along the tour route to create special brews with proceeds benefiting Mr. Holland’s Opus, a charity that works to promote and preserve music education nationwide.
In advance of the band’s July 5 appearance at Wolf Trap in Vienna, Virginia, Lost Rhino Brewing Co. (Ashburn, VA) will unveil a special Red Ale in its taproom June 2 and on June 5 Caboose Brewing Co. (Vienna, VA) will offer Wasser Bohemian Pilsner to raise money for the charity.
Also, before Tedeschi Trucks Band plays the Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater in Virginia Beach on July 12, the following breweries participate with staggered launch dates: Wasserhund Brewing Co.(Virginia Beach, VA, Lager, June 1), Benchtop Brewing (Norfolk, VA, Harmonious Kolsch, June 10), Smartmouth Brewing (Norfolk, VA, TBA, June 10), and Young Veterans Brewing Co. (Virginia Beach, VA, Pale Ale, June 17).
Nichols said guitarist Derrick Trucks is a big craft beer fan. His go-to brew? A pale ale.
The overall goal is to raise $100,000 this summer nationwide.