Juneau's own brewery recently donated more than $10,000 - in tips - to the Southeast Alaska Food Bank.
On Friday, Alaskan Brewing Co. handed food bank manager Darren Adams a check for $10,819.84 - a year's worth of tips from brewery customers and crew collected in a tip jar at its tasting bar.
"Some tippers know where the money is going when they drop a dollar into the jar, and some think it's going to the big smiles and knowledgeable crew serving up samples," said Ashley Johnston, communications manager for the brewery. "But every penny is donated to a local nonprofit selected by the Alaskan Brew Crew."
At the end of each year, the Brew Crew review the list of more than 50 nonprofit organizations to vote for the next year's recipient of the proceeds collected in the tasting bar tip jar. The crew is now in the middle of the voting process for 2010.
"When the economy turned in 2009, our crew was even more inspired to give back, especially to our friends and neighbors who needed a little help, which is why we selected the SEAK Food Bank," Johnston said. "We have a theory that our patrons felt the same because despite the recession we able to donate a record-breaking $10,819.84, up from $10,000 last year (another record-breaker)."
When Johnston first spoke with Adams at the beginning of the year, he reminded them that while donations during the holidays are crucial, the need is there all year.
"We took that to heart and made our first donation to the Food Bank at the end of the tourist season," she said. "We hope that this last boost will help them serve our local families and friends this holiday season."
Past recipients include the AWARE shelter in 2008, Cancer Connection in 2007, the Gastineau Humane Society in 2006 and 2003, Hospice and Home Care of Juneau in 2005 and Trail Mix Inc. in 2004.
"The Alaskan Brewing Co. has a long history of community involvement and local support," Johnston said. "We provide in-kind donations to many organizations throughout the year, but this is our crew's chance to participate in the selection of which local nonprofit receives our one of the only monetary donations we make each year."
The other recipient is the Coastal Clean Oceans Depend on Everyone (CODE), a nonprofit grant funding organization dedicated to the health and sustainability of the Pacific Ocean and its coastlines. It is funded through 1 percent of proceeds from Alaskan IPA.