Batch Brewing Company in Detroit, Michigan, has always taken a vested interest in its community since the doors opened back in 2015.
Not only did they waste no time in establishing themselves as a reputable business after their opening, but they also established themselves as a charitable organization by founding The Feelgood Tap, whose original purpose was gathering and distributing funds to local nonprofits and charities throughout the surrounding communities.
The Feelgood Tap’s unique process has been a monthly collaboration between Batch Brewing Company and other Michigan breweries, restaurants, and bars that involves raising a specific craft beer’s price by $1.00 and investing all those proceeds into the charitable endeavors of local nonprofits and charities. They had even raised and set aside $26,000 for the intended purpose of hiring an executive director for their nonprofit organization.
In light of the intense hardships encountered by the service industry during the pandemic, The Feelgood Tap branch of the Batch Brewing Company has changed its target for charitable benevolence but not its enduring core mission.
Stephen Roginson, founder of both the Batch Brewing Company and The Feelgood Tap, immediately recognized the impending needs of service industry workers and businesses impacted by the lockdowns across Michigan and decided to act.
Batch Brewing Company occupies a sizeable amount of real estate compared to its fellow breweries and restaurants, and with this in mind, Roginson created a functioning outdoor space next to his business in the late fall season for the intended purpose of what was labeled “pop-ups.”
Understanding he was fortunate enough to have this additional room for all the necessary heating and climate control, proper distancing, and safe food preparation, he invited surrounding businesses to take advantage of his space. These “pop-ups” were an opportunity for local breweries and restaurants, with their respective employees, to serve food in a safe and appropriate setting and make some needed money.
Eventually, this idea spawned another one for Roginson and his collaborators around early December, and he began coordinating charitable outdoor roasts entitled “Pay-What-You-Can.” The “Pay-What-You-Can” events started feeding people from the hurting service industry in need of a hot meal and accruing generous donations from those attending. Even though customers were only expected to pay what they could, donations were being given in unanticipated large amounts.
By the end of the first roast, over $6,000 had been raised. Combined with more upcoming roasts and the continually growing $26,000 already saved by The Feelgood Tap, Roginson and his collaborators anticipated between $40,000 to $50,000 available for charity.
In light of the larger than expected amount of charitable funds and the immediate needs within Roginson’s industry and community, the decision was made to give even portions of these donations to laid-off service industry workers who live and work in the Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park areas. Approximately $200 would be sent to 200-250 qualifying individuals and families in need.
Roginson understands that this amount can only cover a small amount when compared to the overwhelming needs of the community and city at large, but these donations will provide a starting point for more help to come. People in this community are responding to a great need and helping one another in wonderful ways. As the iconic movie Field of Dreams once put it, “If you build it, they will come.”
This is part of our #MIAwesomePeople series. Have an idea for a positive story of Michiganders being awesome? Reach out here. We’d love to hear your ideas.
photos via Batch Brewing Company on Facebook