Tag Archives: Railroad Earth

Sweetwater Brewing Sponsors Benefit for St. John’s

On a very rainy Sunday evening in Jacksonville Beach, Sweetwater Brewing Company sponsored a concert event at Freebird Live to benefit the St. John’s Riverkeeper’s organization. The concert on June 24th featured opening band Bison and headliner Railroad Earth. Both bands are ecologically involved and strive to educate the public on the perils of environmental destruction through messages on their websites and support of causes such as Sweetwater’s ongoing Waterkeeper campaign.

Sweetwater’s Minister of Propoganda, Steve Farace said, “[We chose Railroad Earth because] they played our 420 Fest last year and they have a similar mindset as us. They attract the kind of crowds we want to get our message out to. They get it.”

Farace said that throughout the history of the Sweetwater brewery, the company has always had an interest in saving the rivers of the south. After all, he says, without the rivers, Sweetwater would not have the clean water they need to make beer. He says that the concert series with Railroad Earth is a step beyond the cards they have been placing in their six-packs distributed throughout the Atlanta area.

Andy Goessling, Railroad Earth’s acoustic guitarist among other instruments, echoed Farace’s reasons for the band coming on board Sweetwater’s cause. “We have been getting our message out through the blog on our website and Sweetwater seemed like a good fit with that; they overlapped with our environmental ideals.”

Shannon Blankenship of the St. John’s Riverkeepers praised Sweetwater and the bands for their stewardship of Waterkeeper organizations throughout the south and even organized a pub crawl earlier this month to bring attention to the plight of our river. The crawl took place appropriately in Riverside and attracted approximately 50 people.

Sweetwater has raised over $350,000 since 2006 with their Save the Hooch campaign aimed at saving the Chattahoochee River and preserving it for generations to come. In a quote on the company’s website, Founder and Big Kahuna Freddy Bensch says, ““I have spent a lot of time on Atlanta’s waters since moving to Georgia in ’96 to start the brewery, and I’ve seen a lot of the issues firsthand. 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 funding for the great folks who are out there every day protecting our water.”

Concert-goer Charles Price summed things up well with his thoughts regarding the ecological message presented by Sweetwater and the bands at the concert. He recognized that the St. John’s River is integral to our city’s survival and is a resource that must be preserved. “The river,” he said, “is this city’s livelihood.”

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Posted by on June 27, 2012 in Beer, Events


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Sweetwater Brewery Sponsors Benefit Concert for St. Johns Riverkeepers

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.

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Posted by on June 21, 2012 in Beer, Craft Beer Brewery, Events


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