Brewers have always been good at finding new reasons for you to drink—besides making friends, snagging chicks and passing out (not necessarily in that order). But swilling suds for the sake of educating our kids? That’s really out there. But leave it to the craft brewers, the same industry that peddles Evolution Amber Ale in Utah, to find a way. For each case of its new Brother Thelonious Ale that it sells, North Coast Brewing Co. in Fort Bragg, Calif., is donating $2 to jazz education for elementary and high school kids. The education programs are run by the Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz, started by the family of 1960s jazz pianist Thelonious Monk. See, we are educating you already. It helps that Doug Moody, North Coast’s national sales manager, moonlights as a radio DJ and is a huge jazz fan. The new beer, a Belgian style abbey ale (get it, an abbey ale named Monk?), launches on the West Coast this month and will hit New York and Chicago later this summer. Drinking to help the young ’uns. And you wonder how the craft brewers managed to grow nearly 10 percent last year while big brewers with big ad budgets lagged.
—Posted by Joan Voight