New T-shirt shows the love for Tallahassee craft beer
In perhaps the most famous scene from the movie "The Wizard of Oz," the heroine Dorothy wants to leave Oz and return to her family in Kansas, and she's told by her Fairy Godmother to click the heels of her shoes three times and repeat one sentence over and over again:
"There's no place home. There's no place like home. There's no place like home."
And here at the Tallahassee Beer Society, we're feeling that now more than ever these days.
Because if there IS one thing we've learned over the last year during the pandemic, it's that there truly is no place like the safety and comfort of your home.
The 2020 coronavirus crisis — which sadly continues into 2021 — has made many of us appreciate and rediscover our homes like never before. We're staying in more, venturing out less, and spending far fewer days, hours and minutes at our local breweries than we did just a short time ago.
The loss of that traffic is a massive hit for these breweries' bottom lines, no doubt. After all, a huge chunk of their profits are derived from tasting room sales. Yet, here in Tallahassee, our core four breweries — Proof, Lake Tribe, Deep and Ology —have not only seemingly weathered the storm as they slowly and carefully ease back into normal operations, they've adapted on the fly as well as (dare we say) ANY city in the state?
And the reason we feel that way is simple. Throughout this global pandemic, Tallahasseeans have blindly and loyally continued to do one thing: "Drink Tallahassee Beer."
"Drink Tallahassee Beer" — a statement so simple and yet one we, and a lot of you, know to be profound. And sure, "Drink Tallahassee Beer" is about supporting our local brewers and the award-winning beer they produce, but through these breweries flows so much more. Love for locally brewed craft beer is a community WITHIN a community — and the growing of that community is one of the reasons we started the Tallahassee Beer Society 3 1/2 years ago.
And now we have a way for everyone who loves their hometown craft beer scene here in Tallahassee to show that pride whenever they want.
"Drink Tallahassee Beer" T-shirts and hoodies, which are available in 7 different colors — Royal Blue, Hunter Green, Black, Off-White, Pink, Garnet & Gold (for our FSU fans) and Green & Orange (for our FAMU fans) — are now on sale for $20 at MadisonSocial.com/Beer-Society until Feb. 15. But here's the best part: This isn't about us making a buck — this is once again a fundraiser. And proceeds from every shirt and sweatshirt purchased is going to benefit another local charity.
We say "another" because just two weeks ago we wrote about wrapping up a fundraiser for Elder Care Services that saw us team with Proof and Ology and donate over $1,000 in hand sanitizer to ECS and their caregivers. Well, this time we've chosen local Tallahassee nonprofit "Lee's Place" (LeesPlace.org) as our benefactor, and the cause is an important one, especially in trying times such as these.
Lee's Place was founded in 2000 by local Dr. Brenda Rabalais in memory of her son Lee Rabalais, who died at the age of 14 from bone cancer. As a result of this tragedy, Dr. Rabalais opened Lee’s Place to address the broad spectrum of grief, loss, and trauma. Examples include; divorce, abandonment (foster care, adoption, service families), abuse, suicide, homicide, crime, loss of functionality, loss of home or job, long-term illnesses, other life transitions, as well as death.
Following that life changing experience the idea and passion to honor Lee and to help others in our community was born. Already a therapist, Dr. Rabalais created a center where people can receive quality, licensed, therapeutic services in a warm and nurturing environment. Dr. Rabalais’ vision was always that financial circumstances not be a barrier to receiving quality, licensed therapy for any type of loss.
It's a cause we're happy to support, and we can't thank our friends at Madison Social enough for introducing us to Lee's Place and helping with this fundraiser. But our connection to Lee's Place doesn't end there — TLHBS co-founder Matthew Crumbaker actually went to elementary school with Lee in Tallahassee many moons ago, so this one is special for us and we hope we can make it one of the biggest fundraisers we've ever done.
And special shoutout to Tallahassee's Burke Buchanan at locally owned Vernon Promotions and Graphics for hooking us up with these snazzy "Drink Tallahassee Beer" shirts. Burke and Vernon are even doing their part to help by donating dozens of shirts to be sold in the fundraiser. Can't thank them enough.
When the coronavirus began spreading around the nation in March 2020 and small businesses, like craft breweries were forced to shut down, there was a prediction by the Brewers Association of America that when the dust settled, 60% of the United States' craft breweries would close.
If that prediction was to be believed, that means we would've lost two of our four breweries in Tallahassee — at minimum. Instead, we lost none, and all four are back open — thriving and ready to put 2020 in their rear view and come back better and stronger than ever in 2021.
And that's because of you — loyal Tallahassee craft beer drinkers — who supported our breweries through to-go sales, gift cards and merchandise purchases for months and months when they were at their lowest.
This is a great time for #TLHBeer to get back on people's minds through supporting charity after we've had so many cancelled events over the last year. And we now hope you'll take that support one step further and show your pride for Tallahassee beer by grabbing a shirt or hoodie — or two or three.
Thanks, everyone. And cheers to Tallahassee beer!
Danny Aller is the co-founder, along with Matthew Crumbaker, of the TLH Beer Society, a group of avid craft beer lovers. Reach the Beer Society on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.