ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A new craft brewery dedicated to helping local charities had a special beer release Friday.
It’s been a while since Denise Wesley was last behind the bar.
“I used to bartend when I was in my early 20s, but I think I’m gonna volunteer my time here and see if I can help them out ever,” Wesley said. “I don’t know, it’s a fun time.”
But she was serving drinks at the Heroes Brewing Company Friday for a good cause.
“They’re getting a dollar for each four-pack that we sell,” Heroes Brewing Company co-founder Greg Fagen said. “For the two hours she’s behind the bar, we’re going to double whatever tip she makes and make that as a donation as well.”
Heroes Brewing Company launched in Rochester six months ago, and every beer they release helps support a charity.
“Our purpose is to shine a light on the heroes in the shadows,” Fagen said. “Grandparents who raise grandchildren. People who adopt pets. People who spend their Saturdays cleaning their town.”
Friday’s beer release supports Be uninTIMidated, a local charity that spreads awareness of appendix cancer, and helps families pay for travel expenses during treatments for rare cancers.
“Airline tickets, car rentals, hotel — and we’re also supporting the Wilmont Cancer Institute,” Wesley, who is the president, said.
Wesley lost her husband, Tim, to appendix cancer three years ago.
“Great sense of humor,” Wesley said. “Hard worker. Great family man. But again I go back to that he loves beer, so this is an incredible honor for him.”
The brewery was full of friends and family…
“There isn’t a day that goes by where you don’t think of something,” Mark Cascino, of Penfield, said. “Something happens and you see it, and you think, ‘oh my God, Tim would laugh. Tim would appreciate that.’”
… there to enjoy the new beer and celebrate Tim.
“This is exactly what he would want,” Cascino said. “He would want — it’s not a light beer, but it dangles in the craft a little bit. It’s got some flavor. And he would absolutely love this beer.”
That’s why Denise calls Tim a hero.
“He left such a legacy, and he’s still helping people today even though he’s been gone three years,” Wesley said. “He’s supporting people, helping people and I couldn’t be more proud.”