‘Let’s help heal Boston with beer!’ – Maine brewery sparks fundraiser for marathon bombing victims

Like many people in the aftermath of Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon, David Carlson asked himself what he could do to help support the victims and the people of Boston.

On Tuesday morning, Carlson, owner of Marshall Wharf Brewing Co. in Belfast, had a plan.

“Let’s start healing by dealing out free beer,” he posted at 10:23 a.m. on BeerAdvocate.com, a website for beer enthusiasts.

Carlson declared that on Wednesday he’d be driving his brewery’s entire inventory of 16-ounce cans down to Boston, and challenged all New England breweries “to throw down.” Where he would bring the beer or how he’d be able to give it away for free were details he hadn’t worked out yet, but it didn’t matter.

“Let’s help heal Boston with beer!”

The response from passionate beer drinkers and other breweries was immediate. Soon Jack’s Abbey, a brewery in Framingham, Mass., enlisted a local pub, The Tavern Framingham, to serve as host for this impromptu fundraiser.

As of 7 p.m. on Tuesday, 14 breweries had pledged to donate beer for the event, including six from Maine, Carlson said. Including Marshall Wharf, the Maine breweries throwing down are Oxbow Brewing Co. in Newcastle, Shipyard Brewing Co. in Portland, Allagash Brewing Co. in Portland, Maine Beer Co. in Freeport, and Atlantic Brewing Co. in Bar Harbor.

But that could change rapidly, Carlson said. “It’s really coming down by the hour,” he said.

Carlson plans to drive a van down to Boston tomorrow morning, picking up donated beer from the Maine breweries along his path. The fundraiser is scheduled for 3 p.m.

“I think the biggest thing people should know is that tomorrow at the Framingham Tavern from 3 o’clock on, it’s 100 percent donation,” he said. “Everything that gets sold or bought is going toward a relief fund. All the Maine breweries and all the Massachusetts breweries are donating their products, so every penny spent on beer is going to a relief fund.”

The relief fund has not been chosen, but it will be one focused on helping the victims of the bombings, Carlson said.

While Carlson’s post was the impetus for the entire event, he said the event wouldn’t be happening without the help of Jack’s Abbey Brewing and the Framingham Tavern.

“I’m just happy to have someplace we can call home tomorrow night and do some fundraising,” Carlson said.

Whit Richardson

About Whit Richardson

Whit Richardson is Business Editor at the Bangor Daily News. He blogs about Maine business, entrepreneurs and the economy.