In 1997, Sweetwater Brewery officially got its start, according to the company’s website. It began with Freddy Bensch and Kevin McNerney driving around Atlanta, looking for bars that would agree to serve their beers. Now, 15 years later, Sweetwater’s success in the southeastern region of the United States is undeniable. But, even with their success, Bensch and McNerney never lost sight of their commitment to environmental stewardship.
Yesterday, in support of their efforts to save waterways throughout the southeast, Sweetwater kicked-off their first-ever regional concert series featuring nationally acclaimed blue grass band Railroad Earth. The concert series takes place June 20-24 with stops in Raleigh, Charlotte, Charleston, and right here in Jacksonville. All proceeds from each concert will benefit the local Waterkeepers organizations. In Jacksonville that organization is the St. John’s Riverkeepers.
Railroad Earth is an environmentally active band that understands the peril our environment is in. On their website they feature articles that highlight their beliefs in thoughtful and though-provoking ways. Railroad Earth’s music combines elements of bluegrass, rock and roll, jazz, Celtic and more. The group is also known for its extensive live improvisation and lyrical songwriting within an acoustic base.
Bensch, Sweetwater founder, says of his devotion to keeping waterways clean, “A lot of folks don’t realize it, but local waterways account for a main ingredient in our beer, while also serving as fresh water source for the community. Keeping our water clean is a cause I think we can all believe in, and we’ll continue to do anything we can to help raise awareness and make these efforts possible. “
Last year the brewery released its Waterkeeper Hefeweizen beer to support their efforts in keeping the waterways of the southeast clean. Proceeds from the brew benefit local Waterkeeper organizations. This refreshing summer brew is part of Sweetwater’s Catch and Release program and is only available for a limited time.
The Jacksonville stop of the Sweetwater concert series is Sunday, June 24 at Freebird Live in Jacksonville Beach. The concert is open to all ages and tickets are available on the Railroad Earth website or Etix for $23. Doors open at 6:00 p.m., show begins at 8:00 p.m.