Welcome to Helping Hour

By on February 21, 2018

Black Forest Brewery’s G.O.A.T. Slayer NEIPA is one of the many brews available during “Helping Hour.” The promotion runs from 6 to 9 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, when $1 from every draft sold will be given to a predetermined charity or local nonprofit organization. (Photos by Michael Upton)


Since opening the doors of Black Forest Brewing in 2014, owners Bob and Denise Harter have been quite charitable. They have taken an active role in giving back to the community that supports them as a new(er) business, from their involvement with Foodstock to smaller donations for individual causes. The next step in their charitable crusade is “helping hour.” Think happy hour with a cause, where the benefactors are the bottom lines of local charities.

Helping hour runs from 6 to 9 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays when $1 from every draft sold will be given to a predetermined charity or local non-profit organization.

“At the end of the month they’ll get a big, fat check,” said Denise Harter.

Starting in March, helping hour will benefit A Week Away, a Lancaster-based non-profit whose goal is to “coordinate and finance respite weeks for families who are battling a life-threatening illness, with the goal of providing them the hope they need to continue their fight.”

Started by Caleb Walker in 2014, A Week Away raised over $100,000 in their first year and continued success in 2015 by receiving the Benjamin Rush Award from the Lancaster County and City Medical Society.

Each month will feature a new benefactor for helping hour. For information on which charitable organization is up for helping hour, look for notices on the brewery’s website or Facebook page. If an organization does not claim a month, money from helping hour will default to first responder groups in Ephrata.

“For the brewery, helping the community has always been a major focus for us. It’s our way of giving back to all of (those who) have enjoyed our ales over the past three years,” said bar manager Eric Sears. “We also would like to shed light on the organizations that we are hosting during this time, and what their mission is. We would love for this fundraising effort to kind of serve as a platform for each organization to show what they’re all about.”

This is not the first time Black Forest has put community first. The recent Give a Pint, Get a Pint blood drive event was co-hosted with the Central PA Blood Bank. Sixteen people came out and successfully donated blood in December.

“From those 16 donations, 48 patients in our area could potentially (be) saved due to our blood drive,” said Sears. “Currently there is no date for a blood drive for 2018, but we very much look forward to working with the Central PA Blood Bank again to set up another donation event.”

This is all well and good, but what is a Hop’in Around without some beer talk. So … hey Eagles fans! Black Forest has a brew for you. Their newest creation, a foggy and floral Northeast IPA, takes its name from probably the most well-known (or most despised) quarterback playing the game today, and how the Eagles ended Tom Brady’s chance at another Super Bowl win. The G.O.A.T Slayer NEIPA is already making quite a splash on Untappd and is on tap at the brewery. Cheers and thanks for reading!

Michael C. Upton is a freelance writer specializing in arts and leisure. He welcomes comments at somepromcu@gmail.com and facebook.com/SomebodiesProductions.

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