Whoever drinks beer, he is quick to sleep; whoever sleeps long, does not sin; whoever does not sin, enters Heaven! Thus, let us drink beer!” So said Martin Luther, except I think, and many of you will agree I’m sure, that if you enter heaven with a capital H the minute you take a first sip of the world’s most preferred cold drink, why bother with the sleeping and sinning at all.
Or, like Babe Ruth, you perhaps harbour charitable feelings for and intentions towards those who might be eased out of their jobs because you didn’t do your bit to keep them ale and hearty. “Sometimes” said the man, “when I reflect on all the beer I drink, I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn’t drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered.
I think it is better to drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver.”
We know now that Babe Ruth need never have worried about the hopes and dreams of those brewers because, of course, beer is one drink that’s never going to go out of fashion. And unless you’re going to be guzzling the stuff from morning to night, downing a glass a day is actually believed to have beneficial effects that range from lowering the risk of heart attacks, strokes and kidney stones to protecting one from Alzheimer’s, and even helping with weight loss and insomnia.
So where is all this leading up to? Imagine our delight when we found that Rotarians are contributing to making the heady brew work wonders for communities all over the world. The BREW (Beers Rotarians Enjoy Worldwide) fellowship “fosters and encourages fellowship between and among Rotarians of all nations who have a love for beer and through this fellowship support international projects of The Rotary Foundation.”
Rotary News spoke to Moses Aryee, one of the BREW founders, and past President of the Rotary Club of Accra, Ghana, to find out a little bit about this unique group of Rotarians.
The idea for a Beer Fellowship emerged from the delivery of Rotary Fellowship presentations, where each time the mere mention of beer as one of the possible Rotary fellowships that could be established, elicited immense excitement from my audience. Gradually, the idea took shape as to the wide platform that a Beer Fellowship would enjoy. Now BREW is the most sought-after and the most diverse Rotary Fellowship.
Describe a BREW gathering… it sounds like fun. How many people typically attend a Rotary Beer Club Fest?
A BREW gathering is fun! It brings together male and female, young and old, high and low in society. In this gathering, we have technocrats, academics, and all other professionals one can think of. Typically, a Beer Fundraiser attracts a minimum of 100 to 120 participants.
How many such events have you been to and how has BREW grown since it first started in 2013? What are your plans for the future?
Since 2013, we have had three major Rotary Convention outings. In addition to this, countless number of events are organised globally by our members in different States. In the United States alone, more than 30 beer-related fundraisers are organised yearly.
BREW is about bringing together people of various nationalities. Has it fostered a better understanding of other societies and cultures and the way different people eat, drink and entertain? Other than helping expand business interests, what has been your greatest takeaway from these gatherings?
It definitely has fostered better understanding! We offer the most friendly and informal gatherings one can ever experience. Beer is the common denominator that brings us together. Also, at our Annual General meetings, members from various nationalities are given the platform to showcase the cultures and traditions from their various societies.
I notice that one of your newsletters had an article on empty beer bottles and cans. I know that Rotarians take social and civic responsibility very seriously. How do you think a fellowship like yours can help manage beer trash?
Rotarians do take social and civic responsibility very seriously. Currently, we are locally engaging our student population (Rotaractors) on the management of trash during our guidance and counselling sessions. Also, Rotaractors and Rotarians, along with their families, clean the beaches regularly of bottles. We aim to step this up in the near future.
Tell us a little bit about BREW’s clean water initiative.
BREW is currently discussing a collaboration with WASRAG, a Rotary Action group, to provide clean potable water to needy communities globally.
What makes beer your beverage of choice? What’s your favourite snack to go with it? Can you share the recipe?
Nothing beats a fresh chilled beer! The cooling effect and the health benefits that come along with it, makes beer my choice of beverage.
A chilli barbecue goes with it anytime. Fresh African hot chilli spice with any meat or fish, well-grilled, is the recipe!
What are the most unique brews you have ever tasted and what made them special?
A fresh lager beer anytime! Fresh from the keg. That cool refreshing sensation in one’s throat makes them special.
More about BREW: http://rotarybrew.org