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A beer with a cause

Rotary Club of Guelph and Wellington Brewery team up on a new beer that will help fund Rotary projects
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Guelph's Wellington Brewery is now making Rotary International Local Lager in support of Rotary in Guelph and Peterborough. Tony Saxon/GuelphToday

The Rotary Club of Guelph has teamed up with Guelph’s Wellington Brewery for a special blend that will help raise money for local and international causes.

Rotary Local Lager is slowly rolling out into local beer stores and is available at the brewery and via special order at the brewery for special events.

Eventually other Rotary clubs across the province will have access.

The beer is described as a “crisp, refreshing blonde lager.”

“In and of itself it’s a great beer. Just an excellent beer,” said project leader Helmuth Slisarenko of the Rotary Club of Guelph.

He said it’s a three-year pilot project with hopes of continuing it further.

The venture also includes the Rotary Club of Peterborough, who came up with the idea and partnered with a micro brewery there last year. When that brewery could no longer handle the demand of the beer, , they got together with the Rotary Club of Guelph and, with the blessing of Rotary International, came up with Rotary Local Lager.

It will be launched in Peterborough beer stores later this month.

The tall boy cans retail for $3.10 for a single, $18 for a six pack and $69 for 24, with 50 cents of each sale going to Rotary with 10 cents of that going specifically to Rotary International water projects.

The Rotary Club of Guelph said the beer is a world first for Rotary.

“The money raised through the sales will go to a variety of local initiatives,” Slisarenko said.

Sarah Dawkins, General Manager of Wellington Brewery, said the brewery has embarked on similar ventures in the past, most notably a special Gryphon beer for the University of Guelph that supported athletic programs on campus.

“Small batch partnerships with unique recipes and unique brands,” said Dawkins.

“We like to partner with community champions and Rotary has a great presence in our community,” she said.

She said not only was Wellington able to offer the capacity, support and expertise needed to pull the project off, but it was a great way for the brewery to continue to be involved in the community.

“We want to keep Guelph proud of us because we are Guelph proud,” Dawkins said.