The Change Makers Spotlight is a weekly blog highlighting some of the best non-profits, businesses and individuals working to make the world a better place.
Save the World Brewing Co is America’s first 100% philanthropic craft brewery. Based in Marble Falls, a small town outside Austin, Texas, the brewery gives away its net profits to those who can not help themselves. Nonprofits such as Meals on Wheels and Food for the Hungry benefit from all their hard work. So do beer drinkers.
What could be better than Belgian-style craft beer and helping those in need? Not much in our opinion. We talked to co-owner Quynh Rathkamp to learn a bit more about her brewery.
1. What is Save the World Brewing and how is it different from other breweries?
We are a family owned craft brewery specializing in artisanal Belgian style ales. We are America's first and only 100% philanthropic production brewery.
2. How do you decide which charities to give to? Are they constant or do they change?
David (my husband) and I designated Food for the Hungry, Meals on Wheels and Habitat for Humanity to be the regular charities because we have had extensive experience personally donating directly to them (after researching and choosing charities with the highest percentage of raised funds going towards the people/programs) and/or volunteering with them. Because there are so many admirable charities, we chose to focus on those that address people's basic needs (food, shelter, water, etc).
3. What issues out there are most important to you and your company?
As far as worldwide issues, the most important to us is helping those who cannot help themselves. We want to share our blessings and be good stewards.
Professionally, the most important issues to us are quality, service, and teamwork.
4. Why did you decide to make a business out of giving back instead of working a “regular” job and donating to charity out of your personal money?
Great question because in our previous jobs we amassed a much larger income and thus was able to donate more quantitatively, but we hope to inspire other businesses to similarly make giving/donating to charities an integral part of doing business. That is truly how we can save the world.
5. What was your background before this? Did you always want to go into a philanthropic career?
We were both physicians, and we previously would regularly go on mission trips each year. I always planned to go work for a charitable organization after retiring from medicine.
6. What are the biggest challenges of running Save the World?
Ha - everything. Neither of us have ever owned our business, so everything is a new challenge. Chief among them are HR/managing staff, work-life balance because owners can never really escape and immersing ourselves in a retail industry.
7. What had been the most surprising part of running Save the World?
We are constantly surprised and grateful for all the support we have received from our local community of Marble Falls and for all the well wishers who contact us.
We are so inspired when any of our retail partners want to do a charity event with us. Recently the importers of Chimay reached out to us, and together we did a benefit for Pints for Prostates.
We are also really inspired by meeting other people in the craft beer industry who are really passionate and dedicated.
8. What piece of advice would you give someone who wants to use their talents to give back, but doesn't know where to start?
Take the time to research and explore the options, talk to other people already in the field/industry, prepare/train/learn as much as you can and then take the plunge.
To find out more information go to Save The World Brewing.