We were able to interview David Blossman, President of Abita Beer, and he was kind enough to answer a few questions:
1) An unfiltered Weizen Pils with 7% alcohol is an unusual brew. Did you create the beer especially for the SOS campaign or was it something your brewers were already working on.
We created the beer just for the SOS campaign. It just seemed right to make a big brew for such a big cause. Our goal was to brew something that beer aficionados would talk about and enjoy, yet still be very drinkable for the average craft beer lover. I think the unfiltered weizen pils is perfect. It has a beautiful gold color and the pleasant hop bitterness balances out the sweetness of the malt. The beer finishes with a nice dry hop aroma. We hope it sells very well and raises a lot of money for the SOS foundation.
2) Why did you choose to distribute the Charitable Pilsner in 22oz bottles instead of 12oz bottles?
We want to raise money for Charity, but we also want to raise awareness around the country about the dire situation here on the Gulf Coast. The size of the bottle gives us a big canvas to get that message out there. It was also a question of timing. We wanted to get the product out there so we could start helping right away. The 22 oz bottle meant we could hit the market sooner. Instead of dealing with two suppliers (6 Pack wrap and label) we only have one supplier for the 22 oz bottle.
3) How much money has been raised so far and how much do you expect to be raised?
We’ve raised over $8,000 from merchandise sales alone since we announced the SOS project. The SOS brew won’t reach shelves until later this month and we are very encouraged by the interest in the product. After hurricane Katrina we raised over $550,000 with Restoration Pale Ale and I think SOS can be just as successful.
4) Where exactly is the money going?
We have established “SOS – A Charitable Fund” that will assist with the rescue and restoration of the environment and helping people and their families survive this disaster. The Northshore Community Foundation administers the fund and 100% of all the money will go to charity. An advisory committee made up community members will ensure that the funds get into the hands of the folks in need quickly and efficiently.
5) How long will S.O.S beer be available?
SOS will be around for at least a year and we’ll keep making it as long the need is there.
6) If I do not get Abita S.O.S. in my area, can I still contribute?
You can purchase merchandise, like t-shirts, hats, car magnets and other items at our website sos.abita.com. 100% of the net proceeds go to the SOS fund. You can also make a direct tax-deductible donation to the fund at the site.
Full disclosure: BeerUtopia.com is running Abita S.O.S. banner ads on our side free of charge to help spread the word about this charity.