Nonprofit taps into craft beer industry


The Feelgood Tap beer for this month is Hey Diddle Diddle, the proceeds from which will support the Michael Sadler Foundation. Courtesy Atwater Brewery

(As seen on WZZM TV 13) Breweries are teaming up to raise funds for local charities.

The nonprofit organization Feelgood Tap gives breweries and any other establishments that sell craft beer across the state the opportunity to support different charities every month, with many breweries supporting the same charity.

“The entire mission of Feelgood Tap is to raise money for other nonprofits in the state,” said Stephen Roginson, founder of Feelgood Tap. “One dollar from each Feelgood Tap beer sold goes to a different nonprofit every month.”

Breweries increase the price of any beer on their menus by $1. At the end of the month, the money raised is given to the charity of each brewery’s choice, Roginson said.

“We deploy the funds to nonprofits across the state to support the good work they're already doing in local communities,” Roginson said. “The Feelgood Tap is just a mechanism to move money from craft beer consumers to the nonprofit ecosystem in Michigan. Ninety percent of every dollar goes to nonprofits, which is an impossibly high threshold — only possible because of our 100 percent volunteer staff.”

Atwater Brewery, Hopcat and Grand Rapids Brewing Company are local breweries supporting Feelgood Tap.

Atwater Brewery’s three locations, Grand Rapids, Detroit and Grosse Pointe Park, have been part of Feelgood Tap since it started in 2015.

“Sometimes, we’ve done one charity for all three locations, and other times, we picked our own,” said Sean McHale, manager of the Grand Rapids Atwater location.

For the month of January, all Atwater Brewery locations will be supporting the Michael Sadler Foundation, with Hey Diddle Diddle selected as the Feelgood Tap beer.

The foundation was named in memory of Grand Rapids native Mike Sadler, a former punter for the Michigan State Spartans football team, who died in a car accident in 2016. The foundation, which was founded by Sadler’s mother, Karen Sadler, promotes academic and athletic success.

This month’s charity and beer is no happenstance, according to McHale. The Hey Diddle Diddle beer originally was named in Sadler’s honor.

“We pick a beer that might coincide with the charity,” McHale said.

During the summer, McHale said they supported the Van Andel Institute through Feelgood Tap with the GR Pail Ale, which was named by Tony Roko, a Detroit artist who designed the label and packaging for the bottles.

“It was a beer that he named and he pointed us in the direction of the ingredients he wanted us to use, and we brewed it here in Grand Rapids,” McHale said.

The funds were used to help continue Parkinson’s disease research at the institute.

The amount raised for each charity varies depending on the time of the year; since Feelgood Tap started in 2015, Roginson said the organization has raised $150,000. Feelgood Tap is supported by more than 30 breweries and restaurants, mostly in southeastern Michigan, but Roginson said he hopes to grow his organization.

“A big priority for Feelgood Tap in 2018 is to connect with more breweries and beer-centric establishments in West Michigan,” Roginson said.

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