Dutch Beer Geeks and breweries unite for special fundraising beer

Contributing to charity by drinking beer, who would say no to that? It almost sounds too good to be true, but the Dutch Beer Geek community is doing just that. This year they are raising funds for the fifth time for the ALS foundation by brewing a charity beer and organizing beer-related events. In the previous four years they already gathered an astounding total of 290.000 euros. This year’s fundraising count is a little over 40.000 euros and that is just from events and raffles. The proceeds from the sale of their newest Beer Geeks Beat ALS beer, Viva la Vida, is yet to come. The release party will take place on Saturday March 2 from 1.30 pm to 6 pm at the Jopen Church in Haarlem and is open to all beer enthusiasts.


Viva la Vida

The name of the beer says it all. Life is precious and the Spanish expression (and Coldplay song) encourages you to live it to the fullest. One of the first members of the Dutch Beer Geeks community was an ALS patient, so when the Dutch Beer Geeks decided to brew a beer in 2018 for their fifth anniversary, they chose to donate all proceeds to the ALS foundation in memory of their beloved member and friend. A unique initiative that resulted in the Body and Soul beer brewed at VandeStreek supported by donations from over 50 participating breweries. Five years later the number of breweries involved has grown to 84 and the annual fundraiser now includes proceeds from lotteries, beer tastings, and other events organized by the beer geek community members. 


Viva la Vida is an Imperial Weizen (9,8%) with Palo Santo wood and orange peel, which will be added at the end of fermentation. It was brewed mid January at Lighttown Brewers in Eindhoven, a cooperation between breweries Van Moll, 100 Watt and Stadsbrouwerij 013. Wheat was used in addition to barley as part of the malt bill. The hops blend is being kept a secret by Yakima Chief Hops, no matter how hard I tried to get it out of him! Palo Santo is a soft wood from South America, where the tree is sacred, traditionally used for ritual purification. Several breweries have also used it (either barrels or wood chops), such as Dogfish Head and Põhjala. Approximately 5500 liters was made and will be available in cans and kegs via Multi Bier. The label was designed by Erwin van Moll using an artwork created by ALS patient Bernardus Muller. All materials and ingredients were kindly donated by the sponsors mentioned below.

Viva La Vida label sponsored by Drukkerij Eshuis
Hops sponsored by Yakima Chief Hops and SBI

Brewers unite

You can imagine it is quite impossible to brew a beer with all participating breweries present. As a compromise, everyone was invited to Lighttown Brewers after 1 pm to meet each other and talk about the brew day. Brewers in attendance brought beers and it was a wonderful and colorful chaos of people, bottles, cans and lively chatter. The Beer Geeks ALS team was represented by Ferry Wijnhoven, Alex de Vries, Gina Bartol, Femke Janzing and Florian Metz. Several sponsors came, as well as a representative of the ALS foundation and ‘beerfluencers’ who helped make a stir on social media (including yours truly!). National and local press also came by to report on this special event. This day showed once again how supportive and collaborative the beer community is and what it can accomplish when joining efforts!

Ferry Wijnhoven and Erwin van Moll addressing brewers and sponsors
Press photoshoot for the newspaper

Participating breweries

100 Watt Brewery | Amelander bierbrouwerij | Aspro Brews | Baxbier | Bierbrouwerij De Magistraat | Brewdistrict24 | Brewery 22Four | Brewskeborg | Briljant Brouwhuis | Bronckhorster Proeflokaal | Brouw Noabers | Brouwerij Bello | Brouwerij Boegbeeld | Brouwerij de 12 Stuyvers | Brouwerij De Blauwe IJsbeer | Brouwerij de Klep BV | Brouwerij de Molen | Brouwerij de Smokkelaar | Brouwerij Durs | Brouwerij Eeuwig Zonde | Brouwerij Eleven | Brouwerij Het 58e Genot | Brouwerij Huttenkloas | Brouwerij KEES | Brouwerij LOST | Brouwerij Praght | Brouwerij Pronck | Brouwerij Tamesteut | Brouwerij tHuis | Brouwerij Vandeoirsprong | Brouwerij Vogelvrij | Budelse Brouwerij BV | Crooked Spider Brewing | De Biersmaecker | De Brouwschuur | De Noordelijke Mederij | De Zoetermeerse Brouwerij / ROEM | Didko | Dinkelbieren | Dutch Bargain | Ebontree | EMP Brewery | Exla Studio | Floem | Frontaal Brewing Co. | Gallivant | Gradoen brouwerij | Grensgeval | Grolsche Bierbrouwerij | Grutte Pier Brouwerij | Gulden Triomfator | Happy Demons Craft Beer | Havenbrouwerij Het Brouwdok | Hooglander Bier | Implosion/ addicted2craftbeer | Inca Mafia | Jelster | Jokkebrok Brouwerij | Jopen | Kaapse Brouwers | Klere Boght | Kompaan Dutch Craft Beer Company | LOC Brewery | Mannenpap Craftbeer | Milky Road Brewery | Muifelbrouwerij | Ouwe Skilder Brouwerij | Pigs and Bears Brewing Company | Rock City Brewing | ROTT. Brouwers | SpierBier | Stadsbrouwerij Maastricht | Stadsbrouwerij013 | Stanislaus Brewskovitch | t Krut | Two Chefs Brewing | Uiltje brewing co. | UTCA Brews | Uthoka Brouwstudio | Van Moll | vandeStreek bier | Vet & Lazy Brouwerij | Walhalla | X-brewing.


Other sponsors

Can X Lab | Dingemans | Eshuis | Põhjala Brewery | Selected Brewing Ingredients | Yakima Chief Hops.

More info

If you are interested in following the Beer Geeks Beat ALS initiative or donating to ALS, check out the following websites: Beer Geeks Beats ALS homepage and Facebook page  |  Stichting ALS Nederland  |  Beer Geeks initiative page on the ALS website.

Group photo by Bart Berendsen Fotografie

All photos taken by and copyright of Tina Rogers, unless otherwise specified.

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