Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Brews, Beards, and a Good Cause

Saturday afternoon 16 more beards walked into Smartmouth Brewing’s Pilot House in Virginia Beach than walked out.

The beards were lost to a good cause. Area brewers came together to shave their faces and raise money for the Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters.

The Shave-A-Thon event was the brainchild of Pilot House Head Brewer Jimmy Loughran.

“I’ve been growing my beard for a long time and my wife finally said it was time to shave,” said Loughran. “So I started thinking about it and talking to another brewer who said he was going to shave anyway. So I thought, why not raise some money?”

And raise some money they did.

Even prior to Saturday’s event the 16 brewers, each having a donations page online, were able to raise $5,000. Then on Saturday each of the participating breweries provided a special beer for the event and much of the money raised through those beer sales also went to CHKD.

Loughran said not a single brewer he asked turned him down, while a few that weren’t initially approached called him and wanted to be a part of the event.

Dr. Eric Lowe from the CHKD Hematology/Oncology Department was the featured guest.

“It’s great from my standpoint when people in the community reach out like this,” he said. “Most of the brewers are young guys and it’s great when they say ‘I’m going to give back’.”

Lowe said that the children and families they see each day do their best to maintain a positive attitude and events like this can be helpful in more than just one way.

“This is amazing. It’s a positive event for people where they can have fun and do something good, both at the same time.”

While the money made is certainly not an insignificant amount, Lowe said that raising awareness in a community is equally important.

“I’m sure just about everyone in this building knows someone who has, or had, cancer,” he said. “The money is wonderful, but the spirit of support means even more to us on the front lines. The Hampton Roads community has been great to us.”

Jake’s Place Men’s Barbering Lounge and Spa out of Norfolk provided the barbers for the event. A silent auction was held, with those proceeds also going to the cause.

In addition to Smartmouth, the other 10 breweries taking part included Benchtop, O’Connor, Green Flash, Gordon Biersch, Bold Mariner, Wasserhund, Virginia Beer Co., Billsburg, Rip Rap, and Coelacanth.

Anyone wishing to donate to the cause can still find the list of brewers and their individual donation pages online.

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