The Feelgood Tap is Batch Brewing’s Way to Give Back

With hopes and dreams of seeing his initiative move farther in reach and seeing more money than his seven-barrel Detroit-based brewery could accomplish, Batch Brewing co-founder Stephen Roginson saw The Feelgood Tap as a part of the brewery from the start.

Now, heading into its third year of existence as a brewery and being a licensed nonprofit, The Feelgood Tap is a way to support local and regional nonprofits with a focus on community, culture, and wellness.

“It was important to be able to add something to the community,” Roginson said. “There is a lot of need in the Detroit community and it was important if I was to become a corporate citizen then I was to be responsible one and doing something to add some benefit to the neighborhood.”

Located just a few blocks south of the grounds that once housed Tiger Stadium, the home of the Detroit Tigers, Batch opened in early 2015 and by April of that year The Feelgood Tap was up and running.

It’s a simple concept. Any brewery, beer bar or restaurant that wants to name a Feelgood Tap can. The company can add $1 to the price of a certain beer on tap and at the end of the month, the establishment writes a check from the money raised by consumers and that money is pooled together to help charities. Right now The Feelgood Tap is located in 38 places in the metro Detroit area, but Roginson envisions it growing to any state or Canadian province.


He has been in talks with the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild through a friend, current president Kevin Cary, about doing something on the Guild level while talks have started with the Ohio Craft Brewers Association and breweries across the Detroit River in Canada.

“From the time we have launched it, people have wanted to participate,” Roginson said. “It’s taken us a while to wrap our heads around it and get approved by the state and IRS to be able to build this.”

Roginson calls what The Feelgood Tap is doing is altruistic capitalism.

“We can be successful and do good simultaneously,” he said, noting that his mother has MS and fellow co-founder Jason Williams’ father has Alzheimer’s. “One doesn’t have to operate exclusive from another. It’s a part of what we do.

“I want to use what I am doing here to raise money for a nonprofit that is doing so much good.”

The Feelgood Tap at Batch raised $20,000 alone and last year with more establishments in tow, $60,000 were raised for charities. Roginson believes that $125,000 could be raised this year, all from a $1 markup to one beer.

“It’s fun. It’s a no brainer, it doesn’t affect anyone’s bottom line and the money comes from the consumers,” he said. “They still make the same margin and it’s a tax benefit to them. We feel real good about the model.”

Even before the brewery opened, Roginson said he had a feeling that the Feelgood Tap could get bigger than Batch every will become.

“We aren’t ever going to become Founder’s,” he said. “This is relevant everywhere. We have 38 establishments raising about $125K this year. It’s not tough to think if we had the whole state of breweries and beer bars and restaurants to have 200 establishment, you are raising a million per year and if you get that in 15-20 states, then we can be responsible for raising $15-20 million for charity. Now it won’t happen overnight, but it’s not an inconceivable thing either.”

Obviously, giving isn’t a new idea, he stated.

“We didn’t originate this, the craft beer industry does a great job of philanthropy,” he said. “It’s a way to do something together instead of something grandiose. It’s simple and there is no change in behavior for establishments.

“It’s little contributions that pile up to be something bigger. It’s small but it can have a big number of replications.”

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