Squamish brewery raises $11,000 for charity with 'Suck It Cancer' brew
VANCOUVER -- A B.C. brewery's fundraising effort has more than doubled its goal, raising $11,000 for the BC Cancer Foundation with a reissued batch of its award-winning pale ale.
Squamish-based Backcountry Brewing won a gold medal at the BC Beer Awards in 2018 for the brew it called "Suck It Trebek" in homage to the famous SNL Celebrity Jeopardy! sketch.
Then, in March 2019, Alex Trebek announced his diagnosis. The Jeopardy! host told the world he had stage four pancreatic cancer. If Backcountry wanted to release the brew again, it would need a new name.
“We realized, 'OK, well this would be very, very insensitive if we brought a beer back that was called Suck it Trebeck,” explained Ben Reeder, the brewery's co-founder and marketing manager, in an interview with CTV News Vancouver in September.
“We thought we’d flip the script and call it ‘Suck It Cancer’ and then fundraise for cancer (research),” Reeder said.
The brewery partnered with the estate of Squamish artist Chili Thom, who died of esophageal cancer in 2016, using the artist's work for the can labels.
"The outpouring of support for this project from across the province was truly inspiring," the brewery said in a news release Friday.
Backcountry initially set out to raise $5,000, saying it would donate a portion of proceeds from every keg, four-pack, glass and growler of "Suck It Cancer" sold. The brewery said it was able to exceed the goal in part because of "generous donations from collaborators Summit Labels and Hops Connect."
The brewery says it plans to make the fundraiser an annual event, with another batch of charitable beer coming in fall 2020.
"We are so grateful to Backcountry Brewing and the craft beer community that came together to make this fundraiser such a wonderful success," said Sarah Roth, president and CEO of the BC Cancer Foundation, in the brewery's release.
"We also want to share a special thank you to the Chili Thom Studio for donating Chili's art," Roth said. "This fundraising achievement is a tribute to him that will help change cancer outcomes in the community and across B.C."