If there’s one thing Cincinnati loves, it’s beer. Countless beer-centric festivals and traditions, along with the dozens upon dozens of breweries that populate the Greater Cincinnati area, show the city’s affection for the beverage. And amid the COVID-19 pandemic, breweries are returning the support. In light of the current crisis, 43 local breweries have joined forces to benefit the United Way of Greater Cincinnati (UWGC) in its efforts to help those negatively impacted by the pandemic.
“In this environment, a lot of people feel a lot of pain,” says Dave Kassling, managing partner of Taft’s Brewing Co., the brewery spearheading the initiative. “We wanted to find a way to bring everyone together in a different kind of a way, to give back in a great way, but also say, Hey, look, we’re all in this together.”
Together, the breweries are selling a T-shirt they designed featuring the logos of the participating breweries and the combined phrases “Drink in Cincy” and “We’re all in this together.” Proceeds will go directly toward UWGC’s efforts.
UWGC is not only providing direct relief to those affected through its own services, but it is also sponsoring the work of other local organizations, including a partnering with P&G to acquire and distribute hand sanitizer and masks and teaming up with Meals on Wheels to provide meals and services to seniors who live alone.
The breweries’ initiative has been met with great enthusiasm. After the first batch of shirts sold out in less than three days, production on another round was immediately ordered to meet the demand. Kassling expects that the few remaining shirts of the 1,000 total will sell out quickly, ultimately raising nearly $25,000 for UWGC’s COVID-19 relief fund.
T-shirts can be purchased at drinkincincy.com ($25 if picked up at Taft’s Brewpourium, $30 if shipped). Along with supporting COVID-19 relief, each T-shirt purchase includes a one-time-use $5 voucher to be redeemed at any of the participating breweries when they reopen.
“It’s more than just a community of breweries; the community of breweries is representative of the community as a whole,” Kassling says. “There’s going to be a day when we all look back and say, We came out of this even stronger.”