I have long been a vocal critic of big charities trying to encourage people to stop drinking with campaigns such as Dryanuary, Stoptober, etc. Last year a group of beer fans led by those awesome guys at the Beer O'Clock Show decided to do the opposite. Big Beery Night was launched and nearly £4000 was raised for Macmillan Cancer Support. The idea was that for one night drinkers were encouraged to donate the cost of the beers they drink to charity. Obviously, the more you drink, the more you donate.
This year I lost my mum to cancer and I'm sure most people have lost a loved one to this dreadful disease at some point in their lives. It is therefore a cause I am keen to support and, although I don't normally need much encouragement to have a beer or two, it is good to know I will be doing it for a good cause. Click on the link here to get the full details of what is happening this year and join in if you wish.
There are a few ways in which you can join in this year. You can stick to donating the cost of what you drink on the night or you can organise your own event with your drinking buddies. One thing I will be taking part in this year is #BadgeQuest2016 and my preparations have already begun. The social media drinking app, Untappd, awards badges for drinking. Badges are categorised across beer style and venues along with some special badges throughout the year for meeting certain criteria. The idea of #BadgeQuest is to donate a £1 for every badge you receive on Untappd from November 1st - November 13th. I am taking this seriously because I want to donate as much money as possible to this worthy cause. For the past couple of days I have been trying to avoid winning any badges and I have been looking at which beers I will need to consume to get as many badges as possible once the competition starts. Last year the winning haul was a monumental 45 badges. Without causing massive harm to my liver I don't think I can compete with that but I am confident I can manage 30. A bold prediction indeed as this number would have put me second in the table last year. If I hit this target I will double my donation so please give me plenty of encouragement. I have been studying the criteria for Untappd badges for a few days now and I have a few beers already lined up. A trip to Cotteridge Wines in Birmingham will be made later this week when I will have a very specific shopping list.
The competition starts tomorrow and in the meantime I have a Meet The Brewer event at the Craven Arms in Birmingham tonight. I think I have planned it so that I will get no badges tonight but I will put myself within touching distance of two or three for when it all kicks off tomorrow. Coincidentally, the brewer in question is Andy Parker of Elusive who just happens to be the winner of #BadgeQuest from last year.
Anyway, I think there may be a blog post or two from this to let you know what I have been drinking and the badges won along the way.