Sometimes, things come along that are simply nailed on home runs, no matter how you look
That's the case for a fundraising project that might have flown under the radar for many in today's busy beer scene, yet has been quietly raising thousands of dollars for families in a developing nation.
The project in question is Good Ale, based around a beer from Eden Brewery, from which 100 percent of profits go towards Tanzanian families in need.
The brewery was launched by American expat Jacob Bell and wife Deb in New South Wales’ Southern Highlands back in 2017. The pair have always donated a portion of profits to charity; however, it wasn't until a chance meeting with a friend they became aware of the potential to take things further.
“I was at a Forever Projects event and a friend told me that Mark [Dombkins, Forever Projects founder] was interested in brewing a charity beer,” Jacob says. “It was really a perfect match.”
A similar thought was running through Mark’s head at the time as he looked for ways to further the work he and his team had been doing in Tanzania.
“We want to work to break the cycle of poverty for Tanzanian women and their children,” he says. “Any help we can provide to work against the huge problem of women feeling the need to abandon their children to live a better life is crucial.
"We can use what we have in our hands to provide nutrition and independence for these families.”
The concept of using what is in your hands is one both Mark and Jacob live by, which led to them collaborating on Good Ale.
“It was like we were destined to come across one another's paths – like soulmates meeting,” says Mark, who lived in Tanzania for more than three years and has adopted three Tanzanian children.
Once they'd connected, it wasn't long before the wheels were well and truly in motion.
“It wouldn’t have been three or four weeks between the time we started talking until when we were brewing Good Ale,” Jacob says. “Once it was ready to go, anybody who knew about it was all on board.”
Among them was Stuart Whytcross, the founder of Voyager Craft Malt. That malting operation was launched in part to support farmers in the Riverina region of New South Wales; now, by donating malt to the Good Ale project, it is helping support families in Tanzania too.
The first batches of Good Ale, a fruity pale ale, were released in 2018, with Eden maintaining production throughout 2020, despite the challenges last year threw up for the brewery, based in a region that was impacted by last year's bushfires even before COVID struck.
“As bad as things were here, we’re lucky to be in Australia,” Jacob says.
“Imagine how tough it is to live somewhere without a functioning government and functioning
health care system. That always puts things into perspective for us.”