Brewers Against Bad Things

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Chippendale’s they are not. Brewers they are.

All shapes, sizes and ages, 11 guys from three breweries went bottomless in a new “tasteful” pantsless 12-month calendar for 2015, just in time for the holidays! Members of Wisconsin breweries 3 Sheeps, Plymouth Brewing and the 8th Street Ale Haus dropped trou in hopes of raising awareness of men’s health.

For $20, with all proceeds benefiting prostate cancer, calendars are available at http://brewmencalendar.com. Blame the movie “Calender Girls” said 8th St. owner Kurt Jensen. “Those ladies seemed to know what they are doing,” he said about the 2003 movie starring Helen Mirren.

“The youngest [brewer] is 32 and the oldest was born in 1956,” Jensen said. “We are all different shapes and sizes. There are no models among us,” he added with a laugh. “You can tell these guys are involved with beer, some more than others. This is not a sexy calendar. It’s just real men talking about real issues.”

The process started about a year ago said Jensen. “We came up with this idea and finally got everyone in the county on board with it,” he said. “We started taking pictures [in October] and finally got it out. We are all pretty concerned with men’s health and we like doing stuff for charity so this worked out really nice.”

The process wasn’t as titillating as one would think. “Initially it seemed to me that we were going to be stripping bare-butt naked,” said Plymouth Brewing’s Joe Fillion, “but they said ‘No, no, we have to have a little bit of tasteful exposure on here,’ which was nice.”

Fillion said his month’s shoot was done in the brewery’s one-barrel brewhouse, dumping grain in to the mashtun.

“It was nice,” he said. “It was warm enough in the brewhouse, so that wasn’t a big deal but the guy working with me, we stuck him in the cooler so it was much colder for him down there.”

The calendar goes through the whole process of brewing explained Jensen. It starts with cleaning the kettle in January and goes through mashing, working in the fermentation room, shipping and such.

“The last month is a guy pouring a beer from the tap so we went through the whole gamut of brewing,” he said.

The brewers debated shot ideas and how risqué they wanted to go with the idea. “Most of us had deep moments in thought about how far we wanted to take it,” Jensen said with a laugh. “It was based on what we had available. 3 Sheeps has bigger brew kettles and fermentors, so we used those, we got more of an intimate brewing area so we went with who had what available.”

Fillion and Jensen said no one’s significant other opposed the project either. “There was no qualms [from my wife] at all,” Fillion said. “She thought it was a great idea and told me to go for it and see what happens.”

Jensen and 3 Sheeps’ Grant Pauly came up with the idea of making this venture a non-profit called Brewers Against Bad Things. “Grant and I did a lot of stuff in college for non-profit and we wanted to create something where we have a format where we can get together and just do something different every year, something fun and exciting, and take a light-hearted approach to some of these more serious problems that we have in our world,” he said.

They plan on taking on a different “bad thing” every year. 3 Sheeps has a 14-barrel system that has its beers distributed through the state of Wisconsin while Plymouth is a nano-brewery and 8th Street Ale Haus is currently upgrading to a one-barrel system instead of doing 10-20 gallons at a time.

Although the plan is to raise money for male health awareness, the positive side-effect is more than just skin exposure for the three breweries. Fillion said he tweeted a picture of all the brewers behind a sign with “Brew Men Calendar” while holding mugs to Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show.

“I don’t think any of us did it to drive sales,” he said, “but I imagine we will see a bit more of an uptick on Facebook and in our emails, that is for sure.”

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