Regina breweries promoting restricted version suds to boost cash for neighborhood organizations
A pair of Regina breweries are fundraising for community organizations by doing what they do best — making beer.
Rebellion Brewing has teamed up with well-known drag queen Flo Mingo to create Flo Mingo’s Sparkle Motion Majestic Milkshake IPA. All proceeds from the sales are being donated to Lulu’s Lodge, a transitional home for young people who identify as LGBTQ and are homeless.
Mark Heise, president of Rebellion Brewing, said the team at Rebellion met Flo Mingo a couple of years ago and “just immediately fell in love with the story and the character and the persona.”
“We were like, ‘We need to make a beer together. We need to do something crazy and exciting and raise money for a great cause.'”
Terry Van Mackelberg, also known as Flo Mingo, said he was also on board after someone from Rebellion mentioned they can make a beer with edible sparkles in it.
“Of course, Flo Mingo had to jump on that,” he said.
Flo Mingo’s Sparkle Motion Majestic Milkshake IPA is here. Creamy and sweet with flavours of mango and dragon fruit.
All the proceeds from the sale of this beer will be donated to Lulu’s Lodge, a shelter for LGBTQ2S+ youth in YQR.
Avail. now at the taproom and select locations. pic.twitter.com/WWzwzrIwWb
He then asked Rebellion if there was a way to make a beer that was loud and bold like Flo Mingo and could be used to raise money for Lulu’s Lodge.
“Rebellion Brewing jumped all over that,” he said.
Heise said the brewery is always looking to help charities or causes that could use extra support.
“Youth are so important and to be displaced — for anyone to be displaced — from a home is certainly a cause worth supporting,” said Heise.
Van Mackelberg said he has raised about $150,000 as Flo Mingo since the centre opened, and that as a member of the LGBTQ community, Lulu’s Lodge has significant meaning to him.
“When I grew up, I knew that it wasn’t safe for me to live my true, authentic life so I stayed in the closet and I didn’t come out until I was thirty four years old,” he said.
Terry Van Mackelberg goes by Flo Mingo on stage, which is her drag name. (Terry Van Mackelberg)
Van Mackelberg grew up in a small community in Manitoba, he said. He had a lot of support when he came out from certain family members — his ex-wife, children and friends — but he didn’t get the same support from his parents.
At the age of 34, he said he could deal with not having them in his life, but “there’s no way that a kid should not have the support of their parents just because of who they are.”
A statement from the John Howard Society of Saskatchewan (JHSS) — which operates Lulu’s Lodge — said studies estimate that up to 40 per cent of homeless youth are LGBTQ.
Lulu’s Lodge doesn’t have any core funding — according to JHSS — so the centre relies on community donations.
Supply almost running dry
Heise said the beer is “without a doubt one of the biggest selling beers we’ve ever put out.”
He said it could even be sold out in the next few days, which is welcoming news to Van Mackelberg.
He said 10 years ago, many people weren’t aware that homelessness in the LGBTQ community was an issue, so he’s honoured that he can continue to help raise awareness and donations that help the cause.
“There [are] kids that are being forced on the streets because of who they are, and it’s just wonderful to see our community embrace Lulu’s Lodge and do whatever they can to support it,” he said.
In a news release, the beer is described as “creamy and delicious, featuring tropical aromas and flavours of dragonfruit and mango with hints of citrus.
Pile O’ Bones hops on the giving train
Just a few kilometres away from Rebellion Brewing, Pile O’Bones has made its own unique brew to raise money for another worthy cause.
It’s called Community Lager, with proceeds from both can and keg sales going to the Regina Food Bank, according to a news release from the food bank.
The limited edition beer is being served on tap at Pile O’ Bones, along with all of the Leopold’s and Victoria’s Tavern locations in Regina, while cans will be sold in stores.
“This partnership with Pile O’ Bones, Leo’s, and Vic’s is the spirit of neighbours feeding neighbours,” said David Froh, vice-president of the Regina Food Bank.
“These are local entrepreneurs who consistently show they’re invested in making a difference in the community where their customers live.”