Have a drink for a good cause



THE RIGHT RECIPE—Jodi Shapiro from Martell and Noah Regnery of Bluebird Brasserie craft a signature beer for the Brew for a Cure fundraiser. Courtesy photo

THE RIGHT RECIPE—Jodi Shapiro from Martell and Noah Regnery of Bluebird Brasserie craft a signature beer for the Brew for a Cure fundraiser. Courtesy photo

A local foundation hopes it has found a way to use the growing popularity of craft beers to raise money in the fight against childhood cancer.

For the month of June, patrons of Ladyface Ale Companie in Agoura Hills and Pedalers Fork in Calabasas will turn the power of the purse toward helping fund pediatric cancer research. The two brewpubs are taking part in the fundraiser Brew for a Cure, which has recruited breweries, restaurants and brewpubs across L.A. County to raise money for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

The event was organized by the T.J. Martell Foundation, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit. Jodi Schapiro, executive director of the foundation’s West Coast division, said this is the event’s inaugural year.

“We decided that the L.A. market was the absolutely perfect place to launch Brew for a Cure,” Schapiro said. “The foundation has been in L.A. for over 40 years, and there’s a number of folks interested in craft brew and the restaurant scene is very big here, so the idea of connecting (them) was at the heart of this initiative. We’re very much a community-based, grass-roots organization. Even though we’re national we try to focus on that level, so this is a natural fit.”

Schapiro said many establishments were eager to participate because many people have a connection to cancer, and donating is an easy way to help find a cure.

Chloe Burciaga-Terry, who manages Ladyface Ale Companie, said Schapiro is a regular visitor to the establishment, and she pitched the idea one day while they were talking.

“I have a sister who has health issues, and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has been great,” Burciaga-Terry said. “We’ve got cancer survivors and loved ones that people have lost to cancer within the company, so (we were) definitely on board to give back.”

Throughout the month, Ladyface will donate $1 from every pint sold of their Ladyface IPA, which Burciaga-Terry said is their most popular drink.

Calabasas-based Pedalers Fork is also donating a percentage of its beer sales to the foundation.

Operations manager Gideon Kleinman said the restaurant has worked with Schapiro on fundraisers in the past, so he was happy to take part in Brew for a Cure.

“I don’t necessarily know that the (fundraiser) is going to change people’s drinking habits, but regardless, we’re happy to do the donation,” Kleinman said. “It’s a nice cause. It’s headed by someone locally here. I like it, and our beer sales aren’t going to disappear, so we know we’re going to be able to put a good check toward it.”

Schapiro said there are no expectations on how much money Brew for a Cure will raise, and said her focus now is on launching the fundraiser so the foundation can expand it to other cities.

A number of restaurants and breweries around L.A. County are participating in the activity. Establishments are hosting various events to bring in more money, and some breweries are creating a special product specifically for the fundraiser, she said.

“ Check social media or consider following us,” Schapiro said. “We’ll be announcing who is doing what. As a representative of the organization, I’ll be popping around town as we do more and more.”

The T. J. Martell Foundation was founded in 1975 by Tony Martell, an executive at CBS Records whose son died of leukemia at 19 years old.

Martell created the foundation to raise money for research. The organization operates offices around the country and has a long-term relationship with Children’s Hospital in L.A.