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Beer Giving Back 

Silver Moon's F* Cancer initiative continues to grow, setting a new standard for what breweries can do

It's no secret that craft breweries are a high-profile component of the Central Oregon economy—and they're often a big draw for the hundreds of thousands of tourists who visit the area each year. Brewpubs are gathering places for many different generations, and they can also be the touchpoints for some high-impact fundraising. From community pint nights to hosting parties for charities, local breweries are big at giving back.

  • Courtesy Silver Moon

This year, however, Silver Moon Brewing may just have set a new standard for how much breweries can raise in support of good causes, with its F* Cancer program close to reaching $100,000 in fundraising in 2019, as of press time.

Silver Moon launched F* Cancer about five years ago, spurred by two locals who had experienced cancer in their family. Those two loyal locals asked Silver Moon to let them hold a Karaoke for the Cure fundraiser at the Greenwood Avenue taproom, where $1 per pint went to the American Cancer Society, explained Silver Moon Co-Owner James Watts.

The event, as Watts said, was, "A social gathering to express the anger and the bitterness—and the celebration for those that have survived."

click to enlarge The "little" can that could... help fight cancer. - COURTESY SILVER MOON
  • Courtesy Silver Moon
  • The "little" can that could... help fight cancer.

In that first year, Watts said, "I think we raised $5,000-$6,000." The next year the brewery began marketing its F* Cancer beer in 22-ounce bottles and donating $1 from each bottle sold to ACS. By year three, several grocery chains had signed on to carry the special-release beer. Merchandise such as hats, stickers and pint glasses followed, allowing Silver Moon to donate all the merch profits toward cancer-related causes. Today, the F* Cancer program benefits not just ACS, but also the Ronald McDonald House of Oregon & SW Washington, the Knight Cancer Institute and others. F* Cancer IPA is now available—during "F* Cancer season"—in nine states, with beer enthusiasts receiving shipments in 25 states, thanks to a partnership with a Seattle-area niche beer distributor.

F* Cancer also allows groups wanting to raise funds to be directly connected to their success. If a group, such as a local ACS chapter, wants to host a fundraiser, Silver Moon can set them up with F* Cancer IPA and merch to be sold at the event. Then it's up to the group to "fill the seats"—and to reap the rewards based on how much support they receive. Merch, beer sold at events and the sale of F* Cancer beer in stores has really added up, resulting in that nearly $100,000 this year. The F* Cancer IPA now include the names of survivors, which only add to the beer's notability.

And while this year's F* Cancer "season" is largely done for the year, locals can look for the special release beer to hit Central Oregon again during the summer months.

Silver Moon Brewing's F* Cancer program

About The Author

Nicole Vulcan

Nicole Vulcan has been editor of the Source since 2016. While the pandemic reduced "hobbies" to "aspirations," you can mostly find her raising chickens, walking dogs, riding all the bikes and attempting to turn a high desert scrap of land into a permaculture oasis. (Progress: slow.)
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