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Beer flows, men talk about health
Time:12 Nov 2015
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What makes for a cold beer conversation?

Sports, relationships, politics, and the weather are all familiar fodder when perched on a barstool.

But this month is Movember, the annual fundraiser for men?ˉs health, and the top topics will be PSA tests, digital exams, biopsies, brachytherapy, robotic surgery and saving your dad?ˉs life ?a at least if one popular London pub and the purveyors of arguably Canada?ˉs best craft lager have their ways.

The players are Beertown Public House and Steam Whistle Brewing, who are using little green moustaches and social media to raise money for prostate cancer research at hospitals in London and Waterloo Region at a buck or two a shot.

?°The Rock Your Brewstache campaign is about helping create a space to talk about prostate cancer whether it?ˉs at your table enjoying a beer or online,?± said Bromlyn Bethune, Steam Whistle?ˉs director of marketing and sales, in an email.

???°It?ˉs a fun way to help raise awareness and raise real dollars for the cause. For every Steam Whistle Pilsner purchased at a local Beertown, $1 is donated to prostate cancer research at the London Health Sciences Centre or the Grand River Hospital.

?°To raise awareness online, we?ˉre asking people to share a picture with their #brewstache and tag Steamwhistle and beertownph and we will donate another $1.?±

Beertown burst on to the craft beer scene with the opening of two locations in Cambridge and Waterloo in 2012, then a year later on Fanshawe Park Road in London?ˉs Masonville neighbourhood.

?°There are a lot of ties between the two cities with our own partners ?a two of them graduated from Western University, and one partner leaned on the hospital when his first son was born almost eight weeks prematurely, so it?ˉs close to our hearts,?± said Cindy Perri of Charcoal Group, the parent of Beertown Public House.

The ?°brewstache?± is a green moustache that fits nicely over a 341-millilitre Steam Whistle bottle or on one of its special issue one-litre milk bottle-shaped glasses.

?°We are re-posting, tweeting and engaging every post we get through our social channels,?± Perri said. ?°It?ˉs exciting to see the community and our guests getting behind this ?a and the photos always look great. Those ?ˉstaches are very becoming on everyone.?±

You can count on the Beertown servers making guests aware of the promotion, she added.

?°Our team members really get behind it,?± Perri said. ?°It?ˉs a bit quirky and fun too. Steam Whistle is such a great company and we love what they do. Jody (Palubiski of Beertown) and Greg (Taylor of Steam Whistle) have been friends for close to 25 years and we find that the companies have a similar energy and approach to building culture.?±

Being involved in charitable causes has always been de rigueur for Steam Whistle.

?°We?ˉre committed to being more than just a brewer of great beer; we want to be a contributor to the social fabric of our community,?± Bethune said. ?°We support over 800 cultural and charitable events a year. This includes London?ˉs Harvest Hoedown, the annual Banting & Friends fundraiser and most recently the Rock Your Brewstache campaign.

?°Our most significant contribution is to the Ride to Conquer Cancer. Every year Steam Whistle enters a team. Last year our team raised almost $40,000 and we donated over 21,000 beers to reward riders at the halfway point and finish line.?±

--- --- ---

If a lager doesn?ˉt tempt your tastebuds this month, then how about a lovely Irish-style red ale, one which is frequently spotted in our beer fridge?

Rickard?ˉs has spiffily decorated its 473-ml red ale cans with moustaches as they leverage the power of the pint to encourage ?°The Talk?± about men?ˉs health.

Rickard?ˉs has been the official partner of Movember Canada since 2011, helping to raise funds and awareness.

The Rickard?ˉs Red Movember packaging will be complemented nationally by activities at bars and restaurants to encourage donations and, most importantly, conversation.

As Rickard?ˉs points out, the bond comes naturally as ?°the whole idea for Movember sprouted over a few beers among friends in Melbourne, Australia, in 2003.?±

Wayne Newton is a freelance journalist based in London.

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