By Susan Nolan
Gina Grove describes the local beer brewing industry as “community-centric and philanthropic.” She should know. She worked for Hysteria Taproom before taking her current job as Development Coordinator for Anne Arundel County Library Foundation. Now, for the second year in a row, she is busy coordinating an event that combines beer and books.
“Last year, we called it Cheers to 100 Years in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Anne Arundel County Library,” says Grove. “This year, it’s Cheers to AACPL, but the concept is the same.”
Grove recruited three local breweries to create an original, single-batch beer in honor of the library system. Each brewery has created an exclusive custom-brewed libation and will donate 20 percent of their on-site sales to the library foundation. Try Forward Brewing’s Guava Papaya Summer Novella, a fruited sour; Crooked Crab’s Reading Rainbrew, a watermelon and honeydew infused American Lager; or the yet-to-be unveiled selection from Hysteria Taphouse.
Library staff will present limited-edition pint glasses to individuals who donate $10 or more. The glass features the library’s redesigned logo and some of the services offered by AACPL.
Last year, the event raised $5,700. While Grove would like to meet or exceed that amount this year, she states that more than the financial gain, the Cheers to AACPL event is about public engagement. Adults between the ages of 21 and 40 are a difficult demographic for the library to reach, she says, particularly if they do not have children. “This is a fun event that reminds people that the library is a resource for any stage of life,” Grove says.
Earl Holman, owner of Crooked Crab Brewing in Odenton, participated in the event last year and was eager to do it again this year. “For us, this is a no-brainer,” he said. “One of our missions is to work with other businesses and organizations and to build up our local community. We work with a lot of local charities.”
Holman recognizes the value of the cross-promotional nature of the event. “Just as we are getting the word out about the library, the library is introducing us to people who might not otherwise know about Crooked Crab. It’s a win-win,” he said.
Events will also be held at Forward Brewing in Eastport and Hysteria Taphouse in Pasadena. So buy a beer, make a donation, and raise a glass at one or all of the Cheers to AACPL events.
August 2, 5-8pm, Forward Brewing in Eastport; August 4, 5-8pm Crooked Crab Brewing in Odenton; August 6, 1-6pm, Hysteria Taphouse in Pasadena. aacpl.net/foundation/cheers