Beer philanthropy


"And a taste of community

The first A Taste of Germany benefit fund-raiser and open house last month presented by the Indianapolis-Cologne Sister City Committee and Indianapolis Fire Department Local 416 Survive Alive Program raised $6,000 for the two civic organizations to share.

World Class Beverages of Indianapolis served as the coordinating beverage and food partner, spearheaded by Bob Mack, a member of the Sister City Committee. World Class poured a mix of craft beer from across Germany.

“It’s a great way to learn geography,” Mack quipped as he described beer specialties based on tradition in distinctive regions and communities.

The culinary mix also included Mass. Ave. Wine Shoppe, Claus’ German Sausage & Meats, The Rathskeller and ZamoVar/International Tea & Coffee.

“We’ve had a long tradition with Germany,” observed Angela Gilmere, a documentary maker with Channel 16 and a member of the Sister City Committee. “We don’t realize the impact of ethnic groups on our culture in Indianapolis. I think it’s important for us to reach out.”

The firefighters connection is with the annual Fire Department Instructors Conference in Indianapolis, reminded Terri Downs, who serves in Mayor Peterson’s office as deputy director for the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee. Every April, firefighters worldwide gather, including a contingent from Germany and especially Cologne. “They’ve formed close friendships with our firefighters.”

Rock Bottom recognizes the tie with an annual event to pour their special “Fire Chief” brew for FDIC attendees.

“As far as World Class Beverages is concerned, we are looking at this Taste of Germany event as one way of being socially responsible. The Firefighters Survive Alive program has obvious benefits for children and families that we are happy to support,” Mack observed.

“But we are keenly interested in the work of the Indianapolis-Cologne Sister City Society, which seeks to promote trade and cultural understanding between our two cities. Of course Cologne has a rich history with beer and that is of interest to us, but I truly believe that our community benefits in many ways when we enrich it with the culture of a great city like Cologne. If there is an angle here that can endure beyond the event itself, I think it might be the work of the committee over the long term.”

Beer Philanthropy

• World Class and its senior partner, Monarch Beverage, equally earn “special thanks” from arts organizations, including the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s opening of Roman Art from the Louvre on Sept. 20 and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for “Guided Tastings of Craft Brews” at Symphony on the Prairie and the wildly popular “Happy Hours,” commencing Feb. 7, 2008.

World Class is equally involved in the long-term work of other service organizations, including CFF Festive-Ale, held annually on the last Saturday in August to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The eighth annual event on Aug. 25, 2007, at Scotty’s Brewhouse raised $55,000 net according to event coordinator Liz Fraim. She reports attendance has grown annually, and credits participation by Central Indiana beer distributors and vendors, including Indiana microbrewers. For more information log on to

• Beer tastings to benefit the Indiana Speed WPFL team are held periodically at BadaBoomz, 15 E. Maryland St., in downtown Indianapolis. “It’s an intimate gathering of 25-40 people as a way for Speed team members to meet one-on-one with fans and friends while we learn about craft beers from beer connoisseur Mike DeWeese,” said Melissa Sargent, Speed’s events coordinator. See

• For a calendar of Indiana Brewery events log on to Also log on to and



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