Suds for the season

Beer, concert help raise funds for charity

TV personality JR Digs and Hometown Brew Co. have partnered to create the Acoustic Christmas Light Lager. The beer is currently selling at over 20 locations in Hamilton and will be available for the 10th annual JR Digs Acoustic Christmas Concert in Hamilton Dec. 23. For each one sold, $1 goes to charity. Contributed Photo

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What’s a good Christmas party without some high-quality refreshments?

That was the thinking behind a partnership between JR Digs and Langton’s Hometown Brew Co. leading into Digs’ annual Acoustic Christmas Concert, which is presented by the local TV celebrity/resort owner.

While spending time at the Long Point Lodge he owns, Digs – known for his exploits on The JR Digs Show and Man with a Van – became friends with the owners of the burgeoning beer company this past summer.

During a sunny afternoon on the water riding with Digs’ buddy Max Kerman of The Arkells, the group decided to collaborate on a project to help the less fortunate.

“We were literally drinking this delicious brew and said ‘why don’t we make an Acoustic Christmas beer this year?’,” said Digs. “One thing led to another … and it’s taken a life of its own now.”

Last Saturday, the Hometown Brew gang debuted the Acoustic Christmas Light Lager, an offering that’s currently selling in bars and restaurants across Hamilton.

“It’s a no-nonsense, easy, enjoyable festival beer and that’s what we tried to do,” said Hometown Brew Co. co-founder Dusty Zamecnik. “We wanted to make a beer that’s as approachable as possible so we can raise the most amount of funds as possible.”

The best part? One dollar from each beer sold will go towards Indwell, a southwestern Ontario organization that purchases buildings, renovates them and provides homes to low-income residents.

Indwell originated in Hamilton but re-developed Simcoe’s former Hambleton Hall in 2016, and recently purchased the Norfolk Inn to further combat homelessness in Norfolk County.

Zamecnik said the beer is a way of further welcoming Indwell to the community.

“We love the fact we’re figuring out the business to a point where we can start successfully giving back,” he said. “We’re moving forward and learning a lot but, of course, it’s December, it’s the giving season and we have a program that also allows us to do things like this. It’s beer, but it is so much more.”

The beer is the official drink for Digs’ 10th annual Acoustic Christmas. The charity event will take place Dec. 23 at The Concert Hall in Hamilton.

The sold-out crowd will enjoy a powerhouse lineup that includes Kerman and members of the Arkells, The Trews, Jon Harvey of Monster Truck, Tim Hicks, Tom Wilson, longtime sports media members Stephen Brunt and Dave Hodge among others.

The goal is to raise $100,000 to support both Indwell and the YWCA.

“The two places I call home are Norfolk County and Hamilton,” Digs explained. “To know I’m doing some good in both places at Christmas is what this is all about.”

Digs himself, the musicians and everyone involved in the show takes no money from the night – everything goes directly to charity. He hopes to do something similar this summer in Long Point.

“The homelessness issue whether it be in Norfolk County or Hamilton is growing,” Digs said. “It’s becoming more and more expensive to pay rent so the good work of people like Indwell who are taking buildings that are either falling apart or not being used anymore and revitalizing them in a community and providing exceptional, beautiful housing for people that maybe couldn’t afford that kind of thing is inspiring and I’m just happy to be a part of it.”

Tickets for the event are long gone but sponsorship opportunities are available. Anyone interested can email jr@jrdigs.com.

“It’s as simple as us getting together and having an Acoustic Christmas Beer or a coffee and talking about what you want to do and how you think you can make a difference,” he said. “What I can do is kick your holidays off right in the process.”

jrobinson@postmedia.com

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