Journal Staff Writer

MARQUETTE – Last weekend, the Ore Dock Brewing Company kicked off its annual Hops for Help fundraiser. Each year, the brewery – with the help of local bars and restaurants – offers patrons the opportunity to spread goodwill within their communities by donating 50 cents from every pint of a specific Ore Dock ale to Upper Peninsula food banks.

“It’s a total community event,” said Adam Robarge, brewery liaison. “We’re involved in a lot of different events throughout the year, but this event is the one we really like to hang our hat on because it’s the one that exemplifies what we’re all about.”

This year, the brewery selected a new beer to fill the role as the Hops for Help fermented ambassador: the Glad Tidings English IPA. An annual Christmas ale offered inside the brewery, the arrival of Glad Tidings marks the beginning of this ever-growing community fundraiser.

On Wednesday, Robarge said they had received about 60 percent of their feedback so far. Like last year, the proceeds from the fundraiser will go to Feeding America.

“What Feeding America does – they don’t communicate things by dollar amount, but by meals provided,” Robarge said. “With that kind of accounting, we’re up over 2,500 meals so far, which is awesome.”

This year’s Hops for Help ale was available in five U.P. communities: Shute’s Saloon in Calumet; Brogie’s Tavern in Ishpeming; Jackson’s Pit in Negaunee; the Up North Lodge in Gwinn; and throughout Marquette at Hudson’s Classic Grill and Bar, the Landmark Inn, Vango’s Pizza, Stucko’s Pub and Grill, Aubree’s Pizzeria and Grill, Superior Entertainment Center, Breakers Roadhouse, the Steinhaus, Portside Inn, and of course – Ore Dock Brewing Company.

“It’s not only the generosity of these small business willing to donate a portion of their sales, it’s also the patrons that support them on a regular basis that makes Hops for Help such a success,” said Andrea Pernsteiner, Ore Dock general manager, in a press release. “During this time of year when we tend to step back and pay a little more attention to those within our communities that could use some help. We feel it’s especially important.”

Robarge said one of the slogans at Ore Dock is “where craft beer and community meet.”

“It’s kind of like we have two goals as a business – one is to make great beer, and two is to use that product to help foster community development – not just in Marquette County but wherever our product reaches,” he said.

Justin Marietti can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 245. His email address is jmarietti@miningjournal.net.