Good Beer for a Good Cause
How can 45 liters of beer positively impact the lives of animals in need? If that beer is Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout and those animals are lucky enough to come under the care of the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, the answer is much more intuitive than you’d think. Here’s the story of how some very rare beer has helped some very lucky animals.
Since its initial release in 2010, Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout has garnered attention from craft beer geeks around the world. Its Mexican molé-inspired recipe delivers chocolate and vanilla sweetness, dark fruit complexity, cinnamon spice, and a beguiling Scoville heat that builds with every sip but never reaches the point of excess. While handsome 750mL bottles of this artful beer are coveted by beer fans each year following its limited annual release, every few years we push the “ludicrous” button and hand-bottle a handful of 9 liter bottles of Hunahpu’s. If you’re not doing the math at home, each of these Salmanazar-sized bottles (yes, they’re so big that they have a Biblical name) holds more than 300 ounces of delicious Imperial Stout, or more than twenty five 12 oz. pours of beer. Our Brewing team was able to secure nine new Salmanazar bottles in 2020 and split the allocation between Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout, Xmucane’s Imperial Stout and Alom’s Imperial Stout.
Cigar City Brewing Marketing Manager Micki Bell picks up the story from here: “As much as we would have loved to keep these bottles for ourselves, it didn’t seem right to not share them with the world. When we decided to make these ridiculously large bottles available to the public, we knew that stout fans would darn-near move mountains to get their hands on one. We didn’t know exactly how we’d be able to share them with the widest possible audience, but after some deliberation we felt that raffling them off to benefit our non-profit partners would be a great way to leverage the excitement around these bottles and turn these giant bottles of beer into giant tools for doing good in the world.”
We’ve worked closely with the Humane Society of Tampa Bay (HSTB) since early 2020 and have built strong professional and personal relationships with their team very quickly. Previous joint efforts between Cigar City Brewing and HSTB have included hosting a pet food drive at the brewery, supporting HSTB events with beer and raffle items, and hosting a photo shoot for the 2021 HSTB Pet Calendar in our Spruce Street Taproom. Whenever an opportunity to work together has presented itself to either entity, we’ve both known exactly how to capitalize on the moment to benefit the animals in the Humane Society’s care. Working with HSTB on this project made all the sense in the world.
With a non-profit partner secured and a plan devised, we announced the raffle of these insanely rare bottles via our social media channels and staged an area near Hunahpu’s bottle pickups where HSTB could get people excited about our fundraising efforts that prominently featured one of the comically large bottles. As if the sight of a 9 liter bottle wasn’t enough to grab people’s attention, we were lucky enough to have volunteers from HSTB bring adoptable puppies to our brewery during the raffle. These painfully cute pups helped bring guests to the raffle table and allowed opportunities for HSTB representatives to tell the story of the organization and their mission. If drinking Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout at the brewery under the bright spring sunshine while watching puppies romp with each other isn’t your idea of a good time, we simply don’t know what to say.
By the time the raffle ended and the lucky winners were announced on March 14th, we had raised more than $3,700 dollars for the Humane Society. “This raffle has really been one of the most fun and most impactful activations we’ve done in the history of our brewery,” said Bell. “There are so many animal lovers who work at our brewery, and it’s been amazing to see how excited our staff has been to help out HSTB in any capacity.”
How has this one-of-a-kind bottle raffle aided the Humane Society? “The funds raised from Cigar City Brewing’s raffle and other efforts have provided food, medical care, and shelter for homeless animals in need,” said Maria Matlack, Director of Marketing for HSTB. “We have enjoyed partnering with Cigar City Brewing over this past year on various fundraising initiatives and projects. We (animals, too) truly appreciate all their support and we can’t wait to see what’s next. Thank you, Cigar City Brewing!”
To say that our partnership with the Humane Society of Tampa Bay has been successful would be quite the understatement, and we’re excited to do even more to support the people and animals who make up this amazing organization throughout 2021 and beyond.
For more information on the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, visit https://humanesocietytampa.org/.