FLINT – Oskar Blues Brewery, the hugely popular craft brewer and industry pioneer, is teaming up with Flint distributor John P. O’Sullivan Distributing Inc., the Torch Bar and Grill and other local businesses to throw a party Thursday to raise funds and collect packaged water for families affected by the water crisis. Oskar Blues is set to deliver a second round of 50,000 cans of clean drinking water this week, bringing the total to 100,000 cans provided. OB’s nonprofit arm, the CAN’d Aid Foundation will be presenting a $5,000 check to the Flint Child Health and Development Fund on Thursday.
Also Thursday, bars and restaurants in five counties will donate proceeds from sales to the Flint water relief effort. (A list of the establishments is at the bottom.)
The event at the Torch Bar will be held from noon to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 28, in Buckham Alley, which will be closed to motor traffic during the event. The Torch Bar is located in the alley, between 1st and 2nd Streets in downtown Flint. Details of the event called “Flint’s Got Grit, a Community Throwdown,” styled as a block party, are as follows:
Oskar Blues will be giving away water at the event, as well as root beer. Oskar Blues has already delivered 100,000 cans of water this week to Flint. The first 50,000 cans were sent to the Eastern Michigan Food Bank last week. O’Sullivan Distributing will be receiving an additional 50,000 cans from Oskar Blues this week, which the distributor will warehouse on behalf of Bottles for the Babies, a local Flint charity.
Coordinated by Oskar Blues’ charitable foundation that assists in national disasters, the CAN’d Aid Foundation, the event will also feature a way for attendees to donate money, with all proceeds toward Flint water relief efforts.
Torch Bar and Grill is holding a tap takeover in conjunction with the event, and will donate $1 from every pint of Oskar Blues sold toward providing filters, lead testing and water for Flint families. The throwdown goes until close. A landmark that has been in Flint for seven decades, Torch is renowned for its burgers, which are ranked as among the best in the United States. In addition, more than a dozen other bars and restaurants in Genesee, Saginaw, Bay, Midland, Oakland and Lapeer counties will donate $1 from every pint of Oskar Blues to the CAN’d Aid relief effort.
Oskar Blues is serving free meals of barbecued beer-can chicken during the event, prepared by Oskar Blues executive chef Jason Rogers. The signature chicken dish is free to all attendees of the event. Chicken will be served until 6 p.m.
People are invited to also bring unopened bottles or jugs of drinking water to the event as a way to add to the relief effort.
Bottles for the Babies will be on hand to promote the event, deliver donated water to the appropriate designated relief locations, and pass out information about water options. It is also raising relief funds through a Go Fund Me effort. In addition, Bottles for the Babies will be a panelist in a nationally televised town hall the day before, on Wednesday, hosted by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.
“John P. O’Sullivan Distributing, Inc. has been in the Flint community for generations, our employees live in Flint and our customers live and work in Flint, so the water crisis has a direct impact on our company and we want to do everything we can to support the relief effort,” said O’Sullivan Vice President Joanie O’Sullivan-Butler. “We want to thank Oskar Blues and its foundation, the Torch Bar and Grill and so many others who are supporting this important effort. We are grateful for this outpouring of support from not just our friends and partners in the Flint area, but from across the nation, as we work toward both short-term and long-term solutions to this disaster.” “Flint has been our home for 70 years and the hardworking people of Flint have been by our side all that time – and we will be by their side during this difficult time,” said Torch owner Ron Sims.
“Flint has been through tough times before. Every time we get knocked down, we get right back up, and we’re going to come back from this water crisis stronger than ever.” “Oskar Blues and our CAN’d Aid Foundation have been involved in relief efforts for water-related disasters around the nation, and what Flint and its families are going through is the worst man-made water disaster imaginable,” said Diana Ralston, CAN’d Aid Foundation’s Executive Director. “At the same time, it’s clear that when Flint faces a challenge, it faces that challenge as a whole community. Oskar Blues is inspired by this city’s determination, resilience and community spirit, and we’re honored to stand shoulder to shoulder with so many outstanding local businesses, individuals and community organizations.
” Oskar Blues began in 2002 and launched the national craft-beer-in-a-can movement. Based in Longmont, Co., Oskar Blues also has facilities in North Carolina and Texas, producing more than 200,000 barrels of beer a year, with a 30-percent growth in sales last year.
Oskar Blues beers have been recognized as among the best by publications such as the New York Times, and have won national and international awards.
John P. O’Sullivan Distributing has been operated as a family-owned beer distributorship in the Flint area since 1976 and has been active in supporting relief efforts for the Flint water crisis, including donating 5,000 bottles of water to Flint Community Schools in November 2015.
O’Sullivan employs more than 100 employees, many of whom live in Flint and are directly affected by the crisis. O’Sullivan is a distributor of premium beer products, including products by MillerCoors, Pabst Brewing Co., Mikes Hard Lemonade, Samuel Adams and Corona, as well as Michigan and national craft beers such as Oskar Blues. O’Sullivan delivers products to more than 1,700 supermarkets, stores, grocers, bars and restaurants, and other retail outlets in Bay, Genesee, Gratiot, Lapeer, Midland, Saginaw, Shiawassee counties.
LIST OF PARTICIPATING BARS
Table and Tap
The Red Baron
The Michigan Tap Room
Big E's Sports Grill
Lake Orion G's Pizzeria
Bay City Tavern 101