The Craft Beer Industry is an interesting animal. Although technically correct, I have a hard time referring to it as an industry. On paper I can understand how one could say it is an industry; there is a group of companies that provide goods and services that are related in their primary business activities (Sorry folks, some of my old business profs read this blog and I don’t want to disappoint them). However, there is so much more to this story, When you spend enough time around the “industry” as I do. I have seen “competitors” lend yeast, malt, hops or even brewers to each other when they are in need. If you frequent any tasting room, you will hear owners, brewers and sales people alike talking about the latest creative twist Brewery “X” put on their last batch. There is a mutual appreciation for each other that essentially pushes the industry (yes I said it) to be a better version of themselves with every batch made. A term that I often use in the place of industry (and feel is more fitting) is community; a feeling of fellowship with other as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests and goals. That feels much better, doesn’t it?
It’s not just the breweries that make up the Craft Beer Community, there is another whole world of supporting roles as well: Artists, designers, distributors, bloggers, logistics companies, brew tank manufacturers, draft systems technicians… the list really does go on. Just like how breweries sometimes need a hand from each other, so do these guys. Now is one of those times.
Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you’ve probably heard about the fire that ripped through a city block of Nanaimo, BC. Destroying everything inside. Not the diminish the loss of the other businesses, but I feel that one of the biggest tragedies of this story is how one of my favourite Creative Studios and Label Designers, Hired Guns Creative, lost everything in the fire. Yes, equipment can be replaced and we all have insurance for a reason, but the real loss was the personal effects, portfolios, and the awards they received for all their hard work.
If you have walked through a liquor store, you will (maybe unknowingly) be familiar with their work. If you’re a fan of Driftwood Brewing’s new label designs, thank Hired Guns Creative. If you like the labels from Big Rock, Longwood or the soon to open Sooke Brewing, thank Hired Guns Creative. They don’t only do beer you know. They have done some award-winning work with wine and spirit labels as well. You should really take some time to check out their portfolio and awards by clicking these links. It will be worth your time. I think you will agree that Hired Guns Creative is a backbone of BC’s Craft Beer Community. Now they need our help!
If you follow @hiredguns on twitter, you may have noticed this post about a week ago:
We've made a lot of progress this week in the post-fire rebuild, but our reference library is going to take a while. pic.twitter.com/GsOOJEpVbY
— Hired Guns Creative (@HiredGuns) April 9, 2016
I shot them a message telling them that I could donate some of the beer books I have laying around because, like most beer geeks, there’s a few I could easily part with and donate to a worthy cause like this. This got me to thinking, if there are other beer geeks out there with books to spare like me, why not do my part as part of the Craft Beer Community and start a call out to see who will join me in sending some unused reading material their way. That what craft beer neighbours do after all. So if you’re a good person, like I pretend to be, do like me and grab those dusty old books off the shelf, throw them in an envelope, write them a nice note and send it (care of The Beerrater Book Drive) to:
Hired Guns Creative
41 Chapel St.
It will really help them get up and running again. I can’t wait to see what they do next! If you don’t have a book that you can part with, but still want to help out, you can always fire a few dollars to this campaign to help them get back on their feet: Hired Guns Creative Support.
Just to give some perspective on how bad the fire was, check out the pics they sent me: