What does it look like when craft brewers band together to raise awareness for men’s health?
Proceeds from the calendars benefit the Movember Foundation, the leading global organization committed to changing the face of men’s health by raising awareness for prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health.
"Great ideas are often discovered after a couple of great beers," says Grant Pauly, Founder and Brewmaster at 3 Sheeps Brewing Co. "And this was one of them."
Pauly says the idea was inspired by the 2003 movie, "Calendar Girls," starring Helen Mirren, in which a Women's Institute chapter raises funds for a local hospital by posing nude for a calendar.
"The more we talked, the more we liked the idea," says Pauly. "If it’s done in a classy way, it can do a really good job to raise awareness. And that’s a big motivator for us. Prostate cancer is one of those things where, if you catch it early it’s extremely cureable, but if you wait it’s much harder to treat. And this calendar can serve to start that conversation."
The calendar is a photographic journey through the craft brewing process from preparing the kettle to mashing to shipping to pouring. Each task is demonstrated by a brewer in the buff. The final photo is of the group of brewers strategically holding the "Brew Men Calendar" sign surrounded by barrels while raising mugs of craft beer.
And despite a bit of initial discomfort with the idea of baring it all in front of the camera, Pauly says the experience was gratifying.
"It turned to be a lot of fun. Mike Wiseman came in and helped us to lay out the shots and make sure it was done well and effectively. We all got together that day, took the pictures, and laughed a lot at one another and the precarious positions we found ourselves in. It was entertaining."
The Brew Men Calendar is the first project from the newly formed charitable organization Brewers Against Bad Things founded by Pauly and colleague Kurt Jensen, owner of 8th Street Ale Haus in Sheboygan.
"We threw a fundraising event last year, and it was a lot of fun. But, we ultimately decided we wanted to do more. That’s what spawned Brewers Against Bad Things."
The organization plans to take on a different "bad thing" every year, harnessing their collective power to raise money for various causes in creative and fun ways.
Pauly says other breweries have already expressed interest in the organization and its efforts, and that they’re excited about the prospect of increasing their impact with the help of craft brewers across the nation.
"It is our hope that the next time you raise a glass of craft brew with a good man that you raise the topic of health," says Jensen. "The statistics are staggering – we hope to help change the face of men’s health by encouraging conversations. By exposing ourselves we hope to expose more men to important health concerns. Cheers to good health and good craft beer."
The 2015 Brew Men Calendar is available for purchase for $20 online at BrewMenCalendar.com and at various bars, liquor stores and grocers throughout Wisconsin, Chicago and Northern Illinois. Monetary donations in any domination are also accepted on the website.
Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club.
When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.