EER EER FOR FOR GOOD! GOOD! We’re generally told by health professionals/mothers/strange friends who don’t drink that beer is bad for you. While that may be scientifically true in some respects, drinking craft beer just became a power for good thanks to the work of two beer aficionados and a charity movement they have set up. Boozers Without Borders is a London-based programme run by friends Ian Gordon and Matt Bonnamy that holds several charity nights a year where all gather to drink fine ale and raise money for charity Help Refugees. “It all started when my wife, who is much more socially aware than I, convinced me that it would be a good idea to spend our holiday volunteering at the Calais Jungle refugee camp in France,” explains Ian. “Once I had spent time immersed in that world, it opened my eyes to the struggles of people displaced by wars, dictatorships and other political tragedies.” Ian returned to London and immediately started musing with good friend Matt (who actually introduced him to the world of craft beer) how they could do something to help. They decided to use their love of craft as a force for good and set up the first Boozers Without Borders evening in November 2016. And so, the Draft House in Hammersmith became the birthplace of this charity movement.
ian and Matt have held a total of four nights so far, raising over £5,000 for Help Refugees. “We sold tickets for that original evening and then people could have a certain amount of drinks for that,” says Ian. “We have trialled that and also having a paying bar – in both cases we rely heavily on generosity from local brewers to either donate beer or sell it to us at a discounted price so we can raise as much as possible for charity.” Ian and Matt have held a total of four nights so far, raising over £5,000 for Help Refugees. They have also enlisted support from breweries such as The Kernel. “One of our most memorable nights was the last one in September 2017, which was held at the Brunel Museum in Rotherhithe,” adds Ian. “It was a spectacular venue and we also raised a good amount of money for the museum itself as part of our arrangement with them. “We are hoping our events continue to grow and people continue to enjoy them. We are actively seeking new partners – whether that be venues or breweries to help us continue raising money for this great cause. Anyone who is interested should contact either myself or Matt and let’s talk.” Visit boozers.beer to find out more about the movement and how you can get involved.