Beers to You: Your local beer dollars at work

By By Rich Ireland

For the Sunday Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — We often see and hear the “Buy Local” tagline displayed on everything from billboards to bumper stickers.

I try to patronize local businesses as much as possible, choosing a family-owned restaurant, for example, over those that are chain-operated or by grabbing a coffee at Moxxee versus Starbuck’s.

It’s really refreshing to me that every now and then I’ll see a tired Ryan Heastings making his way home after a long day of brewing at Charleston Brewing Co.

It reminds me of the old nursery rhyme characters “the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker.”

Just add “the brewer” and you have a complete ecosystem of local importance.

The fact that I can occasionally get a few free tastes of his latest creation helps keep my smile also.

It may not strike the average beer consumer as obvious, but spending your beer dollars at the local brewery yields benefits far beyond job creation and business economics.

Local farmers like it too when they have additional free animal feed in the way of spent grains supplied by the brewery.

Our local beer dollars keep the brewery running while also allowing the brewery to “pay it forward” in many ways.

Both Charleston Brewing Co. and Bridge Brew Works of Fayetteville are called upon more often than you think to help with fundraising events. There are a lot of legal hurdles, but somehow, someway they help make the beer flow at these events.

Local beer distributors also do their fair share as well; Proud Eagle and Mountain State Beverage were the beer and wine sponsors for FestivALL Charleston’s FeastivAll event in February, which raised thousands to help our premier arts festival.

More recently, Charleston Brewing stirred things up with Mountain Stage Ale to celebrate the 30th anniversary of “Mountain Stage.”

So keep your beer dollars flowing locally and relish with each sip the craftsmanship and community contained within each pint.

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