When Allagash Brewing announces the release of a limited-edition specialty brew, beer lovers often line up outside the brewery the night before in order to be at the front of the line when the beer goes on sale the next morning. They needn’t have bothered, had they been at Bayside Bowl in Portland on April 4th, when Friends of Casco Bay staff, board, and friends were on hand to sample a new Allagash brew called Vrienden (Flemish for Friends) and receive a donation $7,500 from the brewer. In addition, Bayside Bowl is donating 5% of its proceeds for the day to the environmental organization.
Allagash teamed up with New Belgian Brewing in Colorado to brew a “collaboration” beer, using similar recipes. The Maine version incorporated dandelion greens and local elderberries. They decided to call it Vrienden to celebrate the friendship that had evolved between the two Belgian-inspired breweries. Both brewers donated a portion of the profits to support the work of their local Waterkeeper groups.
Friends of Casco Bay is home to Casco Baykeeper Joe Payne, one of seven waterkeepers who co-founded a nationwide advocacy organization in 1998 with environmental attorney Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Waterkeeper Alliance, the organization they launched, has grown into a global environmental movement with more than 190 Waterkeepers around the world, focusing citizen advocacy on the issues that affect their waterways, from pollution to climate change. Friends of Casco Bay, the only Waterkeeper program in Maine, works to improve and protect the environmental health of Casco Bay through advocacy, research, education, and collaborative partnerships.