During the month of December, I am donating 10% of my sales to each of two different local sanctuaries: Animal Haven (who you met a couple of weeks ago) and Sweet Bear Rescue Farm (who you are about to meet).
Sweet Bear Rescue Farm is a brand new 501c3 animal sanctuary. They currently have about 16 animals, and are getting two goats next week and two turkeys soon. (The turkeys were rescued from a turkey drop operation and were injured during this horrific practice, so they are being treated at Farm Sanctuary. Sweet Bear is ready and waiting for them once they are able to come.) Here’s how I came to know this sanctuary.
When we first visited Asheville in 2016 for vacation, we stumbled upon a vegan bar in Hendersonville called Sanctuary Brewing. I fell in love immediately! This place combined all of my loves: good beer, animal sanctuary, vegan snacks, music, and community outreach. Sanctuary Brewing was amazing!
If you haven’t heard of them, let me tell you just a few of the things that they do: they have a Kindness wall outside the bar, where they hang donated coats & cold weather gear during the winter (and toiletries during the warmer weather). The homeless can take whatever they need.
They offer a hot meal EVERY Sunday for anyone who wants it. There’s a container to collect donations if you are able, but anyone can eat! (I LOVE this. We sometimes go to eat and support their outreach: Good vegan food to people who may have access to regular hot meals.)
They have yoga with kittens (from a local shelter), and then pay half the adoption fee, if you go home with one. They host tons of outreach events (animals, people, environment, whatever…), partner with many sanctuaries, and raise money for many charities.
WOW! Oh, and after we moved here, we found taco Tuesdays and open mike every other Monday, which are just plain fun!
Shortly after we moved here, Lisa & Joe (the owners of Sanctuary Brewing) started having community work days at their home sanctuary, so I readily volunteered. I got to work power tools (like this auger to drill fence posts) and I got to know Lisa & Joe. I got to learn more about their mission and all their good work. They both left corporate America to follow their dreams of beer making (Joe’s dream) and animal saving (Lisa’s dream).
The initial idea was to use Joe’s great beer making skills (although he laughed at my suggestion for cinnamon horchata beer) to start up a brewery that would bring in the money needed to rescue animals. The long term goal was to open a large sanctuary.
And they are well on their way. Their beers have won prizes; their community outreach and fun activities have kept the bar packed; and their hard work has paid off with the start of Sweet Bear Rescue Farm. Let’s meet some of its residents.
The first one I met was Oliver. He is a pig (the only one they have and he likes it that way!) Lisa & Joe got Oliver from two women, who had purchased him, thinking he was going to be a small pig (“only 40 pounds full grown”). This is a common story, which is usually NOT true. They lived in an apartment and soon Oliver grew too big for them to keep. Step in Lisa. Oliver is definitely a mama’s boy. He follows her around all the time.
Next, I met Oliver’s best friend, Charlotte. Get this: she’s a chicken. But they are best buds. Charlotte doesn’t actually get along with the other chickens so she has her own coop in Oliver’s space. Charlotte was found wandering around downtown Asheville (on Charlotte St., ergo the name), so Lisa got a call, seeing if she would be willing to take her in. Of course, she said yes!
Gronk, a rooster, and several chickens, that make up his brood were rescued when Lisa saw an ad for them on Craigslist. (Makes me sad that animals are so disposable that people “advertise” them, like they are things not beings. Editorial over.) Lucky for these guys, they have a good home at Sweet Bear Rescue Farm. They are beautiful; the pictures don’t do them justice.
I haven’t even mentioned the 2 dogs and 4 cats. You can meet the dogs, Ti-Ti and Harry if you go to yoga with dogs on Saturday mornings at Sanctuary Brewing, with proceeds going to Sweet Bear Rescue Farm. I didn’t really meet the cats one on one, but only saw them in passing and I definitely can’t remember everyone’s name! Music teacher fail.
I am so happy to be able to support Lisa, Joe, and Sweet Bear Rescue Farm. I admire their ethics, their ongoing work, their commitment to community, and the love they spread in the world. I can’t wait to meet the new goats and the turkeys!
Maybe I’ll see you at the next open mike night at Sanctuary Brewing. It’s on my birthday, next Monday, December 11th. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate! As of now, I’m planning to go. We’ll see if I make it!