Northeast Times

‘Good beer, doing good’

That’s the slo­gan of the new Port Rich­mond-based Do Good Brew­ing Com­pany, which ded­ic­ates each brew to a spe­cif­ic char­ity.

Thomas Sherid­an, left, and Ben­jamin Be­d­ard star­ted the Do Good Brew­ing Com­pany six months ago out of a ware­house on West­mo­re­land Street in Port Rich­mond. They hope to be dis­trib­ut­ing throughout the city by Janu­ary. MI­KALA JAM­IS­ON / STAR PHOTO

There is no deny­ing that Thomas Sherid­an and Ben­jamin Be­d­ard have a pas­sion for all things hoppy, bub­bly and malty.  

The two buzz around their West­mo­re­land Street brew­ery with great ex­cite­ment as they dis­cuss their flag­ship brew, Ben­jamin Frank­lin United Ale, a cream ale with hints of blood or­ange.

Sherid­an, a life­time Port Rich­mond res­id­ent, nearly froths over with ex­cite­ment him­self at the pro­spect of a forth­com­ing Hefe­weizen in­fused with bal­sam­ic vin­eg­ar from the re­gion in Italy where some of his re­l­at­ives live. 

Be­d­ard rattles off facts about how many brew­er­ies there are in the U.S. and which ones make the best In­dia Pale Ale. He re­min­isces about fall­ing in love with Blue Moon’s brews.

Simply put, Sherid­an and Be­d­ard are beer guys. More no­tice­ably though, they’re good guys. 

“Our com­mon ground was really phil­an­thropy,” Be­d­ard said Thursday when Star vis­ited the Do Good Brew­ing Com­pany, based in a ware­house at 2120 E. West­mo­re­land St. “We both had char­it­ies close to our heart.”

A per­cent­age of Do Good’s pro­ceeds will go to a vari­ety of causes Sherid­an and Be­d­ard have de­term­ined. Each beer will be es­sen­tially “matched” to a cause, and the two will de­term­ine at points throughout the year which char­ity tied to that cause will re­ceive a cut of the pro­ceeds.

Their first beer, the Ben­jamin Frank­lin United Ale, is tied to pe­di­at­ric can­cer.  They’ll also roll out three oth­er “core” beers each year that are con­nec­ted to aut­ism, breast can­cer and epi­lepsy. Be­d­ard’s wife has epi­lepsy, and Sherid­an’s neigh­bor and neph­ew both have aut­ism. 

Right now, the two are pro­du­cing small 10-gal­lon batches of beer while they wait for large-scale equip­ment to come in. They hope, Sherid­an said, to be fully op­er­a­tion­al and dis­trib­ut­ing beer by Janu­ary.

Any­one can, however, vis­it the brew­ery to check it out and sample beers any time the guys are there. All you have to do is fol­low the brew­ery’s Face­book page, face­book.com/do­good­brew­ing. The two will post when they’ll be in the ware­house work­ing or hanging out.

Sherid­an, 24, and Be­d­ard, 33, met through their as­so­ci­ation with the Free­ma­sons in the city about three years ago. 

The two had their first meet­ing about start­ing a brew­ery about six months ago, and ded­ic­ated them­selves fiercely to the ven­ture ever since. Do Good is now a fully li­censed man­u­fac­turer brew­ery. The idea sprung from the fact, they said, that they both love beer, and had dabbled in home brew­ing for some time.

Even­tu­ally, the two said they hope to have a brewpub in the same space as the brew­ery. 

For the first six months of op­er­a­tion, Sherid­an said, the two will brew on week­ends. They hope to start selling beer to bars around Port Rich­mond and the rest of the city, and if they ex­pand enough, they’ll em­ploy a trained brew­er as well. Cur­renly, Sherid­an owns the Port Rich­mond-based Brain­sick Me­dia web de­vel­op­ment com­pany, and Be­d­ard is an en­gin­eer. 

The two said the goal of the brew­ery is to be unique in their busi­ness philo­sophy and the beers they pro­duce. 

“If the beers aren’t good, I might as well set my hair on fire,” Be­d­ard said. “We didn’t want to make what every­one else is mak­ing. If we try to be like the big-time brew­er­ies, they’ll eat our lunch.” 

“We really looked at what the mar­ket is flooded with,” Sherid­an said. “Every­one is mak­ing an IPA, every­one is mak­ing something Bel­gian…there’s noth­ing spe­cial about some of the loc­al brews. We want something good and dif­fer­ent. We want every beer to have mean­ing to it.” 

In Port Rich­mond, Sherid­an said, hardly any bars carry unique craft brews. People know how the craft brew­ery scene is grow­ing, though, and he said there is def­in­itely a mar­ket there.

“Craft brew­ing is grow­ing, and it can grow here,” Be­d­ard said.

“I have no il­lu­sions of be­ing the next Sam Adams,” Be­d­ard con­tin­ued. “But maybe the next Vic­tory, the next Tröegs. It’s go­ing to be real when I walk in­to a bar and see this beer on tap.”

Sherid­an said he’s just chomp­ing at the bit to sell his beer.

“I’m pas­sion­ate about ne­go­ti­ation, I can’t wait to sell,” he said. “I want to see a sig­na­ture on that re­ceipt.”

Sherid­an said he’d like to ap­proach Bar­cade in Fishtown to try to have the bar sell a small run of their beer. 

“People are look­ing for the hot new thing on the menu [there],” he said. 

But he got ex­cited about the pro­spect of Byrne’s Tav­ern on Rich­mond Street fly­ing a ban­ner out­side with Do Good’s name on it. He said he’d also like to ap­proach the Brides­burg Pub and the Kens­ing­ton Pub. 

“My child­hood home was three blocks away,” Sherid­an said. “I love be­ing in this neigh­bor­hood. Part of our plan is to be in­ter­twined with the com­munity. We want people to know that Port Rich­mond has its own brew­ery now.” ••

You can reach at mjamison@bsmphilly.com.

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