Friday, September 7, 2007

Alaskan Brewing: Helping the Ocean One Beer at a Time

Brewers are just cool. I received this email from Alaskan Brewing Co, and love the whole idea of it - protect the ocean, have a beer (or, vice versa).
In doing their part to keep the Pacific coastline beautiful, Alaskan Brewing Company has decided to donate 1% of the proceeds from their new, surf-inspired IPA to the Coastal CODE, a non-profit initiative formed in partnership with the Ocean Foundation that supports clean, healthy oceans ( With additional support from the S.U.R.F. Club and Coastal Society at the University of Washington, Coastal CODE has already begun to make waves. From their grant to Tom Jones, an extreme sports enthusiast who is paddle surfing down the coast of California to raise awareness for a plastic-free ocean, to local beach clean-ups in the Pacific Northwest, Coastal CODE is making a difference in ocean conservation. For more information on the Coastal CODE and their current projects, please refer to the following press release or feel free to contact me at the numbers listed below.
With this in mind, I think I'll pick up an Alaskan IPA on the way home. As fate would have it, my wife, Tracy, is at the Alaskan brewery today passing off their award for our 2007 Winter Beer Festival, they took first with their Alaskan Winter Ale. Great brewery, great cause.

Their Press Release follows:

Helping the Ocean One Beer at a Time

JUNEAU, ALASKA (August 13, 2007) In 2006, poor water quality led to more than 25,000 beach closures or advisories throughout the country, 28 percent more than the previous year. Alaskan Brewing Co. wants to help reverse this alarming trend and is committing 1 percent of proceeds from its newly released Alaskan IPA to improve the health of the Pacific Ocean and coastlines in an initiative called the Coastal CODE (Clean Oceans Depend on Everyone).

This unique initiative has launched, which provides insights on ocean preservation; information on volunteer opportunities; ways to donate to the fund; and information about how to apply for Coastal CODE grants for such activities as beach cleanups, water quality improvement and ocean conservation education.

“Big problems like ocean pollution can feel overwhelming, but if each of us does something small, together we can make a big difference,” said Marcy Larson, co-founder of Alaskan Brewing Co. in Juneau, Alaska. “We’re happy to do our part through the Coastal CODE and participating in beach cleanups. We chose ocean preservation because the ocean is such an important resource to us all.”

The small craft brewery is involving others, calling on ocean-minded organizations to help create the Coastal CODE, which began by surveying more than 500 Pacific Northwesterners about the Pacific Ocean. Nearly 100 percent of respondents said they are concerned about the health of the world’s oceans and more than 50 percent think the condition of the Pacific Ocean and western coastline is poor or at-risk.

The encouraging news is that 98.4 percent said they are willing to make at least one change to help improve the ocean. The resulting CODE of conduct was written from this unmistakable pattern of survey answers. It reads:

Walk, bike or sail to reduce emissions
Advocate for our ocean and coastlines
Eat sustainable seafood
Share your knowledge

In support of the Coastal CODE, Portland artist Spencer Reynolds donated his time and talent to illustrate the CODE’s message. His artwork was printed onto surfboards made from eco-friendly material called “Biofoam.” These limited-edition surfboards will be auctioned to raise money for the Coastal CODE Fund.

“This CODE has the potential to spread awareness of our ocean’s needs to people who care about this precious resource,” said Mark J. Spalding, president of The Ocean Foundation, a nonprofit group housing and advising the Coastal CODE Fund. “It’s refreshing to see a company take responsibility for the environment. The fact that the Coastal CODE initiative is so creative, fun and engaging is very exciting. This kind of leadership can help turn the tide in ocean conservation.”