South Jersey brewery’s charity collaboration weathers COVID-19
PENNSAUKEN — This is the third straight year that Double Nickel Brewing Co. has hosted what it calls "Friends Giving," in which it invites other area breweries to contribute their hops to a potluck-style IPA, then gives the proceeds to local charities.
The COVID-19 pandemic naturally took some of the camaraderie out of the annual event but it moved forward nonetheless and even added a new partner: Source Farmhouse Brewery in Colts Neck.
That's in addition to usual participants like Cape May Brewing Co., Tonewood Brewing Co. in Oaklyn, and other brewhouses in Philadelphia and Virginia.
"Most collaborations are just two breweries working together," Brian Needham, Double Nickel's head of sales, said. "With this, we came up with the idea of bringing a bunch of breweries that we're friends with together."
The beneficiaries of the initiative include Camden-based Cathedral Kitchen, Virtua Health's Mobile Farmers Market and Mobile Grocery Store, and just added for this year, Community FoodBank of NJ.
"We kind of wanted to add an additional charity that was a little closer for Source as well as Cape May, which is when we added Community FoodBank," Needham said.
Keeping the focus on local groups that fight food insecurity was a key goal, especially with the holiday season approaching, according to John Dalsey, director of marketing for Double Nickel.
He added that being able to continue the fundraiser during the crucial COVID-19 period was also important.
"We wanted to do charities that make an impact locally, in our own communities, and some of us live in Philadelphia and we grew up in South Jersey," Dalsey said.
The breweries collectively anticipate being able to expand on an impressive precedent of donations they set in the previous years of the Friends Giving event.
They are looking forward to broadening the radius and variety of the groups they impact, as well.
"In the first two years alone, we've donated over $200,000 in both food and funds to these local charities," Needham said.
The 2020 potluck IPA is 7% alcohol by volume and is available at Double Nickel's home base in Pennsauken, or in select stores throughout South and Central Jersey.