Over the past three years, we’ve been lucky enough to be invited to Brews for New Avenues, the world’s largest rare-beer auction. Each edition has surpassed it’s predecessor, seeing more money raised every year. With hundreds in attendance at Portland, Oregon’s Left Bank Annex last Saturday, following a week of special events, this one-of-a-kind fundraiser for New Avenues for Youth raised over $260,000, another record.
Following the model of a high-end wine auction, yet populated by the causal beer nerd crowd of Beervana, Brews has tapped into something special. Their various events include specialty Lambic beers, live and silent auctions, a Brewers Dinner, the Oysters and Gueuze Social, live music, and a constantly rotating taplist of great beer from over 50 local, national, and international breweries.
“Thanks to the generosity of beer donors, breweries, sponsors, bidders, and the hundreds of people who attend and volunteer for Brews for New Avenues, this event continues to have a great impact on the youth we serve,” says Sean Suib, Executive Director of New Avenues for Youth. “Brews is not only a celebration of rare beer, but an opportunity to showcase and celebrate the beer community’s commitment to doing good. Because of their continued support, we look forward to being able to empower even more youth to overcome their barriers and realize their potential.”
It was initially announced Sunday that over $280,000 was raised this year, which included the donation of a special draft tap van, but was revised down as a result of it being “a capital gift.”
Of the total raised, $33,000+ was raised by lambic.info, a Lambic advocacy group dedicated to educating the general public about the style, as well as revel in it’s history and the events surrounding it. This was raised from donors in 24 countries, as well as their sponsorship of this year’s “Wall of Lambic.”
As is done every year, the silent and live auctions feature sets and verticals of rare beers and Lambic offerings. The largest bid of the day, a special trip for two to Belgium hosted by brewery Drie Fontenien, totaled $12,000 which was then matched and awarded to a second bidder as well.
We attended Friday’s Oysters and Gueuze Social for the first time; an evening of rare 3-year Lambic blends, a variety of draft Lambic, a silent auction of the bottled Gueuzes sampled, and of course, freshly shucked oysters. This was quite a special happening, done in a lovely high-rise setting downtown, surrounded by some of the coolest folks in the craft beer community
Highlights during Friday and Saturday’s events included conversations with Josh Pfriem of pFriem Family Brewers, Trevor and Lindsey Rogers from de Garde Brewing, Averie Swanson from Jester King, and Raf Souvereyns of Bokkereyder in Hasselt Belgium.
There were plenty of great beers on hand (even specialty ciders from Reverend Nat’s), with highlights including Bokkereyder’s “made for Brews” batch of Oma (a “2 year lambic with red vineyard peaches and rhubarb from Grandma’s garden”), the delicious small batch offerings of Denver’s Amalgam Brewing, and some wonderful spontaneous tastes via Pennington, New Jersey’s The Referend Bier Blendery.
In total, since it’s inception 7 years ago, Brews for New Avenues has raised over $750,000 to benefit New Avenues for Youth, a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention and intervention of youth homelessness.
And if all of this sounds like something you want in on, next year’s event is already scheduled; the 8th annual Brews for New Avenues will take place on Saturday, August 10, 2019. We hope to see you there!
About New Avenues for Youth
New Avenues for Youth takes a complete approach to addressing youth homelessness and its root causes, delivering support and resources that enable youth experiencing or at-risk of homelessness to overcome their barriers and realize their potential. For more information about New Avenues for Youth, visit www.newavenues.org or call (503)224-4339.
About the New Avenues for Youth Ambassador Board
The New Avenues for Youth Ambassador Board is a group of young professionals dedicated to raising awareness about New Avenues in the community, assisting in fundraising for the organization, fostering the development of future community leaders, and ending youth homelessness.