The Meaning of Community

As 2018 draws to a close, we have been reflecting a lot here at 7Sisters Brewing Co. We have now been open for a bit over a year, and we have been having a really great time getting to know our customers as we provide you with delicious beer and food, live music, and other fun community-oriented events.

In particular, we have been thinking a lot about what it means to be a part of a community. All of us lucky enough to live on the California Central Coast know that we live in a wonderful community full of great people, outdoor activities, family-friendly events, wineries & breweries, and more. Until opening 7Sisters Brewing Co, that was mainly what we focused on: how great it is that we get to live here. But now, after running 7Sisters for the past year, community has really taken on a new meaning for us.

To cut to the chase, we realized recently that by owning a business where people gather, we have more power to do good for our community than we did simply as citizens in that community. So we rolled up our sleeves and got to work harnessing that power.

It started with providing a space for candidates running for office to meet with constituents. Then we started hosting small fundraisers for student groups at Cal Poly, including our infamous chicken bingo events. Two incredible humanitarian student groups, Engineers Without Borders and Global Medical Brigade, were able to raise money to help fund their trips to provide clean water in Thailand and a medical clinic in Honduras.

7Sisters Brewing Co. helped Cal Poly student humanitarian groups help over $1000 with fun Chicken bingo events

7Sisters Brewing Co. helped Cal Poly student humanitarian groups help over $1000 with fun Chicken bingo events

These events were a win-win-win for us because we helped out these worthy causes, new people came to the brewery to try out our beers, and we felt really darn good about what we were doing.

So we upped the ante. We realized that we could do even more to help those causes that we believed in.

First, we organized a fundraiser for Woods Humane Society where pets could have their photos taken with Santa. Fifty-nine of our fabulous community members brought your pets (mostly dogs, several cats, and even a Betta fish!) to this event, and we raised over $500 for our no-kill shelter.

Bella, Woody, & Bebe get their photos taken with Santa and their parents

Bella, Woody, & Bebe get their photos taken with Santa and their parents

High from doggy kisses, our event coordinator immediately got to work organizing two fundraisers for another cause that is dear to us, the Women’s March. We saw a Facebook post saying that the costs of the SLO event were skyrocketing in 2019 because it is growing so much, and we decided to help. We organized an all-day concert featuring local, woman-led musical acts called Truth to Power: A Fundraiser for the SLO Women’s March for Sunday, January 13 from 1-9pm. Then we contacted our friends at the SLOQueerdos, who quite literally embody community and inclusivity, and asked them to put on a drag show at 7Sisters. On Friday, January 18 from 9-11pm we will host GagaAgain: A Fundraiser for the SLO Women’s March, which will be a raucous all-ages event featuring many of our talented local drag performers. 100% of ticket sales for these events will go to the SLO Women’s March to offset the cost of road closures, safety personnel, sound system, permit and insurance, and other expenses. We are incredibly jazzed to support his worthy cause and can’t wait to see what the new year brings.

All participating musicians are volunteering their time so that 100% of the ticket sales can go to the SLO Women's March

All participating musicians are volunteering their time so that 100% of the ticket sales can go to the SLO Women's March

We can’t stop! Our brewer recently brewed Sierra Nevada’s recipe for Resilience IPA, and when it goes on tap we will donate 100% of proceeds to the Camp Fire fund. We regularly donate beer to charitable fundraising events, ranging from the Family Care Network to the Central Coast Aquarium and many more. Each one of these organizations performs valuable services that match the values that we embrace as members of the SLO community.

Last but certainly not least, hundreds of thousands of federal employees are currently not receiving their paychecks due to the government shutdown. We decided to help by offering our famous gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches FREE to federal employees who have been affected by the shutdown. Given that both the owners of 7Sisters Brewing Co. are government employees who have been impacted in the past by furloughs, we felt that this was an easy way for us to help our fellow workers in some small way.  Hopefully, by the time you read this blog, the government will be back in business and these employees will have received their back pay. Until then, we want to help fill up their bellies.

Gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches are free to furloughed federal employees for as long as the 2018-19 government shutdown lasts

Gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches are free to furloughed federal employees for as long as the 2018-19 government shutdown lasts

What else will 2019 have in store for us? We will continue making our sustainably brewed beers, and organizing wonderful events. The specifics remain to be seen, but we can tell you that we will continue to embrace our community to the best of our extent. We don’t have the power that massive corporations do, but we believe that every bit helps in our community.

To be honest, before we owned a brewery and restaurant, we didn’t think all that much about the values of the place and its owners when choosing where to spend our dollars. We will be forever changed by our new perspective, and will choose to support small businesses that harness their power to do good in their community. We hope that you will, too.

 Happy New Year!

 Emily & Steve

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