The Milwaukee beer community is pretty good at giving back. Gathering Place Brewing's new initiative is a great example.
Joe Yeado is no stranger to nonprofits. His career has been spent working with education and education policy, and his wife Kirstin is a program officer at Ascendium Education Group, a nonprofit centered around higher education.
Now, as the founder of Gathering Place Brewing Company (811 E. Vienna Ave.), he’s in a unique position to help out plenty of local nonprofits. Next Thursday (Feb. 7), the Riverwest brewery starts its $1 For Milwaukee program. Every Thursday, Gathering Place will partner with a different nonprofit group and donate $1 for every pint, growler and crowler of beer sold.
“When we started Gathering Place we committed to donating at least one percent of quarterly sales to local nonprofit organizations,” said Yeado. “My wife and I have been talking for about two years about the best way to reach that goal. We have contributed a lot to fundraisers and events but wanted a more transparent way to donate. We also wanted to build deeper relationships with local organizations by offering our taproom space to engage people and share their work. We feel the $1 For Milwaukee program will accomplish these goals.”
Milwaukee’s beer and brewing community is adept at beer altruism, with examples including Good City Brewing’s frequent volunteer events, Discount Liquor’s annual Crafts & Drafts beer festival that benefits the Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer Alliance, and myriad fundraising events at breweries and beer bars.
“I think beer is a social beverage and brings people together,” added Yeado. “Beer is part of so many life events from birthdays and big milestones to low-key things like hanging with friends. I think people look to breweries to be involved in a way they don’t from a bank, a car company or some other type of business.”
Public Allies Milwaukee, a member of the AmeriCorps national service network, is the first nonprofit to benefit. Representatives from the group will be on hand Thursday to answer questions about their mission. Gathering Place is in the process of finding other nonprofits for future events. Interested groups can fill out a form on the Gathering Place website.
“The brewery is a reflection of my wife and I as the owners and the $1 For Milwaukee program is an extension of our values,” explained Yeado. “We built the taproom so that people would have a place to gather and interact with one another. It’s been great to see that happen in the year and a half since we opened. We have ideas and plans for other programs and ways to engage in the community and look forward to sharing those in the coming months.”