Bomber Brewing’s Beer League BASH charity hockey tournament helped raise more than $5,500 for the Britannia After School Hockey program at Vancouver’s Britannia Community Secondary School earlier this month, helping give East Van kids who would not normally have the chance an opportunity to play hockey.
“The Beer League BASH gives us the chance to give back to our community that is right here,” says Bomber co-owner and creative director Cam Andrews. “We play at the Britannia rink two blocks from the brewery most of the year, so as a charity it does not get much more local.”
The Bomber squad may have lost to Parallel 49 in a shoot-out in this year’s final, but it was the kids who were the big winners.
The BASH program supplies equipment, ice time and coaching for kids who would otherwise not be able to afford to play hockey. Now in its fourth year, the Beer League BASH event has raised more than $20,000 for the program since its inception.
“Sport can give you experiences that will shape your character and help you develop the skills needed to navigate through life, especially when you are in your teens,” says Andrews. “It’s an opportunity that should be afforded to all kids if they want to play so they get to have that positive influence in their development.”
17 local craft breweries took part in the hockey tournament, including Bomber, Parallel 49, Main Street, Doan’s, Central City, Strange Fellows, Powell, Moody Ales, Steel & Oak, Strathcona, Yellow Dog, Red Truck, Luppolo, Four Winds, East Van Brewing, Steamworks and Old Yale.
“It’s pretty great to get all these breweries together to play some hockey,” says Andrews. “Without that support we could not put on this event and hopefully affect the lives of a few of the kids growing up in our neighbourhood.”
Bomber also created a beer of the event called the East Van SMaSH for BASH, with support from West Coast Canning and Skagit Valley Malts. Partial proceeds from the sale will also go towards the BASH program. East Van SMaSH is available at the Bomber tasting room as well as at select private liquor stores.