Each year, Bull City Burger and Brewery presents an Oktoberfest celebration to support Durham's Habitat for Humanity. Habitat generally considers $50,000 the threshold for building and setting up a house, according to BCBB's Seth Gross. Those Oktoberfest proceeds help, but “that's a long time to wait to build a house,” Gross explains. “So I approached some of the other brewers in Durham and pitched this wacky idea. Everyone was all in.”
That idea was the “We CAN Build It CANpaign.”
Five Durham brewers—Bull City Burger and Brewery, Bull Durham Beer Co., Fullsteam Brewery, Ponysaurus Brewing and Triangle Brewing Company—each make a special beer and can it. If you donate $75 to Durham's Habitat for Humanity, you get a case of five 32-ounce cans, one from each brewery. You also get a Habitat for Humanity pint glass, and, of course, a receipt to show in order to pick up the beer.
The first set of 100 boxes became available the Tuesday before Christmas. As of late last week, only 12 remained. Plans are already in motion for the release of another 100 boxes with a different selection of beers shortly before Valentine's Day. (Expect at least one brew to feature chocolate.) Shoppers can even sample the run during a party at the Durham Co-op Saturday, Feb. 13, 2–5 p.m. The official release party will come later at Fullsteam.
“You can even make a donation right there on your phone and get a case," Gross says. “Every box set will be unique."
Going forward, the brewers will collaborate on a new case every quarter. At box No. 667, Gross says they will have enough money to build a house.
Sometimes people think Habitat only gives away free houses, but that isn't the case, Gross explains. One of the cool things about Habitat is that it involves the people it helps in the process. They are expected to work alongside volunteers constructing the house. The organization also provides no-interest mortgages.
"We're looking forward to swinging our first hammers," Gross says.
Visit www.durhamhabitat.org/weCAN to make a donation and indicate where you wish to pick up your beer reward.
One notable trait of the Triangle craft-brewing community is how often its members pitch in to help one another out. Turns out, they don't limit their generosity to the beer community, as a new collaboration between several Durham brewers and Habitat for Humanity demonstrates.