For eight years now, Philly Beer Scene has given away awards celebrating the best brewers and bars in the area. Five years ago though, we decided to add a more serious award. Craft beer is fun and drinking it is even more fun. It’s great to celebrate the best beers and places to drink it, but beyond that, there’s some really great human beings in the craft beer world. We wanted to honor those people who look beyond the beer and use the beer as a means to give back and help the community as a whole. With that in mind, we created the Craft Beer Gives Back Humanitarian of the Year Award.
The inaugural winner of the award was none-other than Tom Peter’s of Monk’s Café. His fundraising events for Alex’s Lemonade Stand have become stuff of legend in the area and he’s raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the cause. The following year, Fergus Carey, also of Monk’s Café fame, as well as Fergie’s Pub, was recognized for his work with the arts. Tom Kehoe of Yards Brewing Company was recognized in 2015, followed by Andy Farrell of City Tap House, amongst other bars around the city, last year both of whom have used their given platforms to humbly support those in need in Philadelphia.
This years winners were Kevin Finn & Mark Edelson of Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant. Each year, the winner is announced by the previous years recipient and Andy Farrell couldn’t have done a better job presenting this years award and we are simply going to share his speech from the evening in once again recognizing Kevin and Mark and the great work they do for the community and completely living up to the title of humanitarians.
Good evening friends…
Humanitarian- “a person who seeks to promote human welfare”
Promoting human welfare doesn’t show up on a balance sheet.
Promoting human welfare isn’t usually a tactic to lure investors towards making money.
“Craft Beer Gives Back, Philly Beer Scene’s Humanitarian of the Year Award, the only award tonight that is not voted on by the public, celebrates hospitality, culture and, most importantly, community.
Since November of 1996, the Iron Hill Brewery family has steadily risen to national prominence for their expertise and production of great beer, winning dozens of accolades, regionally and nationally.
Tonight’s honor isn’t about the what gets poured in the glass, aged in barrel or gets crushed in the can.
An anchor of the Philly beer community for over 20 years, Iron Hill, and it’s soon to be 13 locations, have been so clearly committed to human welfare that it is included in their mission statement:
“We will create an environment that empowers our employees to perform to their fullest potential, enabling the business to achieve its goals”
From the folks on the stage with me, to the hundreds of full and part time employees over the years, Iron Hill’s commitment to empowering employees is second to none in our area: daily through ongoing staff training and annually celebrating their 600 employees with a GABF watch party!
Beyond their employees, their commitment to support the communities in which they do business goes to the heart of what differentiates Iron Hill from other restaurants.
Over the past ten years alone, between dessert programs, strategic corporate partnerships and their Give 20 Program-a platform allowing small local charities an incentivized method to fundraise while building community over dinner and beers- Iron Hill has donated over $1 million.
Recipients of their generosity include Weavers Way Community Programs, The Ardmore Food Pantry, Lancaster Family YMCA, Bringing Up Down Syndrome, Easter Seals Southeastern Pennsylvania, Food Bank of Delaware, North Penn Valley Boys and Girls Club, Main Line Animal Rescue, Home of Sparrow, and the Delaware HIV Consortium
Personally I feel, the spirit of generosity that Iron Hill embodies has served as a cornerstone for our unique Philly beer community, and am grateful for their example of corporate stewardship and culture.
Congratulations to Kevin and Mark on winning this award and thank you for setting such a strong example for the industry. You’re kindness and generosity is something to be reveled and we couldn’t be more proud to be able to call you part of the Philly beer scene.