Good food and good drink go hand in hand. Sometimes you can add good people and their equivalent deeds into that mix as well. Accordingly, there are a number of drink producers in the region that are connecting with their communities by providing delicious, nutritious food to those in need. Recognizing that hunger is very much an ongoing issue here in the Pacific Northwest and beyond, a handful of local drink and event producers feed the public as well as quench its thirst and give to community.
Seattle’s Pyramid Brewing launched the “Brews That Do” campaign this year in order to give back while actively fighting to create a solution to hunger. In partnership with Columbia Distributing, the program donates a portion of sales to charitable organizations in the respective areas of purchase. For example, proceeds from kegs and cases sold in Washington go to Food Lifeline of Western Washington, while money collected from beer sold in Oregon is donated to the Oregon Food Bank. For each half-barrel keg of beer sold, $5 is donated, as well as $2 for each one-sixth barrel keg and 50 cents for every case.
Over in Woodinville, Washington, Eye of the Needle Winery has partnered with Northwest Harvest since 2014, a Seattle-based nonprofit that works with a network of 375 food banks across the state to provide nutritious meals for the hungry. Through the winery’s 12th Blend line — an ode to the Seattle Seahawks fan base known as the 12th Man — the wines are composed with “fan food” in mind. There are three tailgate-friendly 12th Blend varieties to choose from: a Chenin Blanc, a rosé and a red blend. For every bottle purchased, Eye of the Needle donates two meals to Northwest Harvest. To date, they’ve been able to provide almost 200,000 meals.
Nearby at Tinte Cellars, another Woodinville winery that feeds, the act of giving extends into almost all aspects of what they do — helping the hungry and then some. In addition to matching charitable donations from employees and organizing company-wide volunteering events, each year Tinte selects a few nonprofits to receive support from every wine sale. For the winery, this amounts to a 5 percent donation from sales made to the general public and 10 percent from wine club sales. In addition, Tinte makes an annual, in-kind charitable donation, valued at $150, to every charter wine club member’s approved cause.
Donations from these sales in 2019 will be made to ArtsFund, the Child Mind Institute, Mary’s Place and Northwest Harvest. Beyond monetary offerings, Tinte also donates wine to charitable causes and sponsors numerous fundraising efforts.
While not technically a producer of food or drink, Erika Polmar does produce some outstanding events showcasing both. Every summer her Oregon-based company, Plate & Pitchfork, offers nearly a dozen farm dinners, each featuring two chefs and a winery. Attendees begin their evening with a farm tour at the dinner’s featured locale before enjoying a multi-course meal prepared with ingredients provided by the fields they just toured. Over the course of the dinner, guests learn about the people involved in every facet of growing and crafting their meal. All proceeds go toward battling hunger in Oregon. This year, Plate & Pitchfork will be raising funds for Farmers Ending Hunger, an organization that works to gather Oregon’s agricultural resources via donations from local farmers and ranchers to help feed those in need.
As Northwesterners, we are lucky to live in a place where we can toast over some of the most exquisite food and drink found anywhere. But those who strive to ensure that we all have the opportunity to break bread, deserve another raised glass, as well as our support.
This article originally ran in the print summer edition of Sip Northwest magazine. For the full story and more like it, click here.