Tickets for this event have now sold out. If you'd like to make a donation to Mind then please do so via our JustGiving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/nomoreheroes/
Recently I was approached by a consultancy that were working on behalf of a multi-national brewing concern. They were in the process of creating a document on 'Craft Beer' that would be strictly for internal use only by said multi-national. The consultancy was seeking to obtain detailed information and insight into this sector of the beer industry via a series of well thought out and probing questions.
The kicker? In return for me sharing a wealth of industry knowledge gathered through several years of hard work and research, this multi-billion pound company offered to donate £100 to a charity of my choice. This immediately raised a number of concerns. I'm not averse to doing freelance consultancy for breweries, it's something I've already done in the past and seek to do again as I begin to eke out a career as a freelance writer. The companies I've worked with have been very small but they've always paid me fairly for my work. Here was a company worth billions attempting to gain thousands of pounds worth of information in exchange for what essentially was a bribe.
This is unethical and downright sneaky. They wouldn't even tell me what the document would be used for or whose nose it would be pushed underneath. I refused their offer and made sure to let them know my thoughts on just how unethical their offer was in my reply. Unsurprisingly, I never heard back from the consultancy.
Following this brief exchange it then came to light that the same consultancy had approached my friends Jen Ferguson and Glenn Williams, who own and run Hop Burns & Black in Peckham, offering a similar sum. It wasn’t until the third email exchange that the consultancy revealed the client. Needless to say, Jen and Glenn weren’t about to hand over their intel to Big Beer so that they could better hijack the Craft industry.
There is no doubting this isn’t the first time ‘Big Beer’ has tried to blackmail its way into Craft but it did get me thinking. I’d just turned down a chance to get a little cash into the pockets of my charity of choice, Mind, and part of me wasn’t altogether happy about this. Then it hit me, why not team up with Hop Burns & Black and raise the money ourselves?
I recently began writing a column for Hop Burns & Black's blog about the unsung, unloved heroes of beer that occasionally gather dust on their shelves. Because Hop Burns & Black also sell great used records and we both love post punk we've decided to rename the column 'No More Heroes' after The Stranglers track of the same name. But how to turn this into a way of raising money for charity?
Simple. On Thursday 22nd October join Jen, Glenn & myself at Hop Burns & Black for 'No More Heroes' - a tutored tasting session of beer’s great unloved. Tickets will be £15 each and every single penny will be donated to Mind UK. The session will kick off at 7.30pm sharp. Tickets for this event have now sold out. If you'd like to make a donation to Mind then please do so via our JustGiving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/nomoreheroes/
I think we can all agree that when it comes to the attitude of multi-national breweries towards Craft that Something Better Change. So join our band of Shakespearo's on Thursday the 22nd of October as we drink some great beer, put some searing post punk records on the turntables and stick two fingers up in the direction of Big Beer.
Find out more about the brilliant work that Mind do for those experiencing a mental health problem at http://www.mind.org.uk/