No stranger to giving back to the community, Abita Beer’s latest venture is going to give people around the nation a tasty way to help those affected by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
David Blossman, president of Abita Beer, announced Wednesday that the company will begin producing a new 22-ounce beer, with a portion of the proceeds from its sale going towards helping people adversely impacted by the oil spill resulting from a explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig.
Named the SOS A Charitable Pilsner, for Save our Shore, the beer will available for sale mid-July in all 41 states where Abita Beer is currently sold.
Abita Beer will begin selling a special SOS brew next month. For every beer sold, the company will donate 65 cents toward helping the victims of the Gulf oil spill. It is also selling shirts, caps, decals, magnets and lapel pins, with 100 percent of the proceeds from those items going toward helping the oil spill victims. (Staff Photo by Suzanne Le Breton)
Like some of the other specialty beers produced by Abita, this beer will come in specially designed painted bottles.
For each bottle sold, Abita Beer will give donate 75 cents to a fund established to help those most affected by the spill.
The fund will be managed by the Northshore Foundation, and Blossman is establishing an advisory panel to be headed up by Louisiana Seafood Marketing and Promotion director Ewell Smith and will be charged with reviewing the applications for money from the fund.
In addition to selling the SOS beer, Abita Beer is also selling SOS merchandise, including T-shirts, hats, decals, magnets and lapel pins. Those items can be purchased online or at the Abita Tasting Room next door to the brewery.
All of the proceeds from the sale of this merchandise will be donated to the fund.
Blossman said he wanted to come up with a way to help the people suffering and those that will suffer for years to come from this disaster.
Abita Beer successfully raised and donated more than $500,000 selling restoration ale following Hurricane Katrina.
As with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Blossman said he felt called to do something to help those most affected.
“I felt compelled to do something for our brethren right now,” he said. “If someone in your family is hurting and you can help you need to.”
He added that this disaster isn’t one that happened on the other side of the world, this disaster happened in our backyard and it is our very neighbors that are suffering.
He also understands that people are looking for ways to help and he hopes SOS beer gives them a venue to give back.
Abita Beer has also launched a Web site, sos.abita.com, giving people an outlet to comment on the disaster, to buy merchandise or to make a donation.
He described SOS as “a big beer for a big cause.”
It is 10 percent alcohol with a balance of sweetness and malts. Blossman describes it as having a “pleasant bitterness,” and says it is “very drinkable and crisp.” He has added hops to the aging tanks for added flavor.
Blossman hopes that by marketing this beer nationwide, it will help get the word out about the disaster now and in the future long after the national media moves on to other stories.
“We want to raise awareness for the cause long after the cameras shut off,” he said. “We are doing our best to get it out there.”
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