Raising Awareness for Mental Health with “THE BEER FEST”

At the end of this month (January 26 & 27) Abettor Brewing, our Test Kitchen brewery, has been invited to “THE BEER FEST” sponsored by Wichita Brewing Company. 

The festival was designed by Cody Sherwood, the head brewer for Wichita Brewing Company, to raise awareness for mental health within our industry. 

The attempt was to invite a brewery from every state to attend. He succeeded in getting representation from 25 different states. Luckily we were the ones asked from Kentucky. 

I don’t have a lot of positive experiences from COVID and 2020, but having time to connect with other industry professionals over social media was one of them. 

At the time we were still a tiny brewery working on our SABCO XL system and learning a ton from every batch. Building relationships across the country during this time quickly elevated our products and my abilities as a brewer. 

Sherwood was one of those who would keep us all entertained with his memes and reels as we worked through the difficult days not knowing when normalcy would return. He was also a critical resource in following beer trends across the country and daily brewing practices. 

Even almost five years into brewery ownership it’s still exciting to be invited to events. Especially ones that are centered around something as important as mental health. 

Our industry has so many positives, but just as in all industries, it comes with its ups and downs; and not just for owners, but for all employees. 

Additionally, adding the alcohol element into our industry can make times easier, but also the mental health struggles are sometimes darker. 

“In my opinion, Mental Health cripples our industry more than anything,” Sherwood explained. “I’ve always been good at throwing a party, so I decided to throw a rager for a cause important to me.” 

Sherwood donates to a local charity in Wichita that offers free mental health services to anyone free of charge. 

While this event will be one to remember, and customers and brewers alike will be responsibly enjoying our products, funds will be raised to assist those with mental health needs in the future. 

Hopefully, this will be the first of many and open up more dialogue for mental health awareness within our industry.

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