From the folks who brought you Aprons for Gloves comes another charity boxing event, this time featuring exclusively the beer industry.
Say hello to Beer Wars.
The event will be similar to Aprons for Gloves, but this time people employed in the beer industry will duke it out at Eastside Boxing in an event to help cover the not-for-profit gym’s operational costs.
Beer Wars will be similar to Aprons for Gloves, with some fundamental differences: One, the contenders for Beer Wars aren’t required to do a charity raise as contenders do in Aprons, but the breweries they represent will be required to donate product to sell at the fight night to raise money for the gym.
Two, Beer Wars will be more low-key than Aprons for Gloves, trading in the glitz and glamour of that event for the sort of casual vibe we’ve come to expect from beer culture events.
Finally, there will be no tryouts, so everyone that signs up has the opportunity to take part in three months of training free of charge.
Eastside Boxing is located in the Downtown Eastside and offers free boxing training for at-risk youth and women who’ve experienced violence. David Schuck started Aprons for Gloves in 2012 to help fund the fledging gym, the proceeds of which helped secure the gym’s permanent space above the Woodland Smoke House in 2013. Later that year, the building burnt down, leaving the gym homeless until Schuck found another permanent location in Chinatown earlier this year.
Given the high operational cost, Schuck had been looking for a secondary fundraising event to complement Aprons for Gloves, and asked Chris Bjerrisgaard, Parallel 49’s marketing manager and co-founder of Vancouver Craft Beer Week, to corral people in the beer industry.
“We all drink too much beer and all have a couple extra pounds, so it probably doesn’t hurt for us to do a program like this,” says Bjerrisgaard.
Beer Wars training is a win-win for everyone involved: contenders will train at Eastside Boxing free of charge to participate in a charity event, but there’s no commitment to actually take part in the fight night. And best of all, contenders stand to lose quite a few pounds. Aprons for Gloves contenders usually lose between 15–20 per cent of their weight.
So far, about 20 people have signed up, and Bjerrisgaard says more people are needed before training begins in January. There’s no limit to signups and in order to create a minimum of eight fights, as a large number of people are needed to make the best possible matches in different weight classes, sexes and skill levels.
“It’ll be a bunch of beer-swilling dudes beating the crap out of each other for a good cause,” Bjerrisgaard says, although he’s careful to add that contenders won’t be drunk during the fight (but afterward…). He also insists that Beer Wars is not promoting or capitalizing on violence, but helping to support an important service for East Vancouver.
“It’s very positive for kids like at-risk youth, who get to work through their anger issues, develop better discipline. There are a lot of good things that come from this,” Bjerrisgaard says.
“You’re given the opportunity to essentially train for free for three months and all that’s asked is the brewery that you represent – who will get exposure and a good light shone on them for doing something for charity – is a couple of kegs. It’s one of those rare scenarios where there’s not really any reason you shouldn’t do it.”
Fight night will be sometime in April. Proceeds generated from fight night ticket sales, sponsorship and beer sales will all go to Eastside Boxing. Sign up for training here.