Buy a Gaelic, be a philanthropist in Highland Brewing’s new campaign
Highland Brewing Co. is asking customers to lend a helping hand to the western North Carolina hotel community by purchasing a beer.
For the second year, Asheville Brewery will host the “Give Back with Gaelic” campaign, supporting seven nonprofit partners in the South East. Organizations include food banks and worker assistance funds for the restaurant and hospitality industries.
“Hospitality is at the heart of the idea of giving something more to people and that is really the purpose of this campaign,” said Leah Ashburn, owner and president of the Highland family.
Highland will donate a portion of the proceeds from sales of Gaelic Ale, its flagship amber beer, until the end of 2021. The brewery’s distribution partners will match the amount raised.
Customers can search retail packaging with the Give Back with Gaelic campaign label in stores or purchase Gaelic Ale on tap at the brewery, bars or restaurants in the distribution area.
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Gaelic Ale was the first beer produced in Highland and the first craft beer in Asheville, Ashburn said. Launched in 1994, Gaelic Ale has remained popular for over 27 years. Gaelic Ale is a balanced amber beer with a malt and hop character, she said, and goes well with meals.
“Our donation program which engaged our flagship beer, the one that is best known in our distribution footprint, seemed to be the most effective way to reach the largest audience and therefore give the most,” said Ashburn.
Highland, opened in 1994, is Asheville’s first brewery and remains the largest independent, family-owned and operated brewery originating in the South East. Its products are distributed in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia. The seven non-profit organizations are located in their distribution area. :
“The pandemic is still forcing our friends and neighbors to make difficult food choices. We are very grateful to Highland Brewing Company and its customers for helping us achieve our vision of ‘No One Goes Hungry’, ”said Tessa Johnson, Head of Corporate Partnerships with the Central Food Bank and the east of North Carolina in a press release.
The hospitality industry is struggling with staffing and service delivery due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which is why the campaign has been relaunched for a second year, Ashburn said. Food insecurity was a problem before the pandemic which has only worsened since. Give Back with Gaelic is Highland’s way of providing some relief to organizations that serve the community despite their own funding and employment challenges.
“Looking back over the past 16 months, COVID-19 is still being felt in our 24-county North and South Carolina service region,” said Donna Ragan, spokesperson for Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina in Charlotte.
“In the first 12 months, we encountered a huge increase in needs, less food donations and fewer volunteers to help us feed children, seniors, families, veterans and pets. With the Delta variant, we are starting to see some of the same issues that we encountered in the first 12 months, ”she said.
Campaign funds can be used at the discretion of the recipient nonprofit organization in an area they feel is most needed, such as general operations, staffing, or community outreach.
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The Second Harvest Food Bank will use the donations to fund its food distribution services throughout the year.
In 2020, Highland raised over $ 25,000 for 12 organizations through Give Back with Gaelic with the help of channel partners.
This year, the campaign will benefit seven organizations to refine Highland’s focus and increase impact by providing larger giveaways to selected nonprofits, Ashburn said.
“I would still like to overtake last year’s one, that would be wonderful. It will depend on who will buy Gaelic Ale from (now) through December, ”said Ashburn. “I hope if people assess a choice and it’s 50/50 between that and something else, they’ll go with Gaelic and know they’re helping people in their own community.”