Hope Springs Eternal

Posted on May 4, 2020

Craft breweries have a long and prolific history of lending their names, energy, and manpower to a wide variety of charitable causes. From medical research to helping the hungry to raising awareness for countless humanitarian efforts, San Diegans have been able to count on the county’s beermakers to pour forth their hearts, souls, and liquid assets. And now, one of San Diego’s longest-operating interests, AleSmith Brewing, is taking its philanthropy to the next level.

After 25 years in the beer biz, the Miramar company is set to launch its new 501(c)3 nonprofit, Anvil of Hope. The organization will aim to assist low-income families facing homelessness, youth aging out of foster care, and neighbors experiencing myriad financial hardships. It’s a passion project for AleSmith owners Peter and Vicky Zien that’s been a long time coming and arrives at a time when San Diegans at large are in greater need than ever before due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In light of the current crisis, the Ziens are focusing Anvil of Hope’s inaugural efforts on helping those affected by coronavirus, including victims and their families, as well as frontline medical workers and first responders. The vehicle for that will be AleSmith for Hope, a Northeast-style “hazy” India pale ale (IPA), proceeds from which will be donated to organizations that support the aforementioned factions.

“While many breweries are doing their best to manage during this global pandemic, we believe it is our duty to give back to members of the community who are giving it their all during these trying times,” says Peter. “It makes perfect sense for us to do what we do best, and through that, be able to lend a hand to others across the county.”

In recent years, AleSmith has earned a stellar reputation for its next-level humanitarian efforts and charitable giving, holding various food drives and holiday toy drives, offering employment opportunities to refugees orphaned as a result of the Second Sudanese Civil War, and teaming with various nonprofits including the Tony and Alicia Gwynn Foundation (TAG).

AleSmith’s longtime partnership with the Gwynn family began in 2014, when the late baseball hall-of-famer collaborated with the brewery to create its best-selling beer, San Diego Pale Ale .394 (a reference to Mr. Padre’s career-high batting average during the 1994 Major League Baseball season), which has raised much-needed funds to support TAG’s mission to promote health, social education, and vocational and character-development services to local at-risk youth.

When COVID-19 is safely behind us, Anvil of Hope aims to assemble a volunteer staff of “Anvil Angels” and “Angel Contractors” to assist the nonprofit in its charity efforts. The former will offer a personal touch to San Diegans equally in need of an open heart as a helping hand.

“It’s been a longstanding dream to create this charity, utilizing our brewery as the vehicle to help the community and those in need,” says Peter. “AleSmith and other breweries in town have recognized the value of being charitable and giving back to their communities in one form or another. We are beyond excited to introduce the Anvil of Hope, especially now as so many find themselves in dire need of help during this crisis.” alesmith.com   Brandon Hernández