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Wednesday January 26th

Local brewers strike back against House Bill 2

<p>Erik Myers (left), founder of Mystery Brewing, and Keil Jansen, brewmaster of Ponysaurus Brewing Company, are joining with breweries to make a new beer.</p>
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Erik Myers (left), founder of Mystery Brewing, and Keil Jansen, brewmaster of Ponysaurus Brewing Company, are joining with breweries to make a new beer.

Erik Myers, founder of Mystery Brewing in Hillsborough, and Keil Jansen, brewmaster of Ponysaurus Brewing Company in Durham, are joining with other breweries across the state to create a special beer to support the community directly affected by House Bill 2.

All proceeds will be donated to organizations benefiting the LGBT community, including Queer Oriented Radical Days of Summer — a summer camp whose mission is to build queer community through music.

Myers and Jansen started the social fundraising campaign to speak out against the legislation.

“We don’t feel like HB2 represents us as citizens or business owners in this state,” Myers said.

“We wanted to do something in response, and making beer is what we do.”

The beer will be a saison called Don’t Be Mean to People: A Golden Rule.

Myers said brewing will begin April 16.

Ponysaurus will brew and package the beer, and Mystery will do the labeling.

Myers said the two have gained support from 30 other breweries in North Carolina. This includes Fortnight Brewing Company in Cary, D9 B in Cornelius and Ironclad Brewery in Wilmington.

“We’ve had people pitch in by sending people to assist with labor, sending ingredients or helping with the cost of brewing the beer,” Jansen said.

He said these collaborating breweries will have the first choice when it comes to selling the beer.

Mystery and Ponysaurus will be selling the beer as well.

“We are more powerful together than apart,” Myers said of the collaborating breweries.

In addition to fundraising through beer sales, the breweries will also launch a campaign on this week to raise money for various LGBT organizations.

“We wanted to find a way to support people that aren’t as lucky to be in the kind of communities that we are in,” Jansen said.

He said this led him and Myers to Queer Oriented Radical Days of Summer Camp.

“We wanted to support people that are young and maybe aren’t financially independent,” Jansen said.

This summer camp receiving donations from the campaign is based in North Carolina for children ages 11 to 17.

Myers said he and Jansen have been friends for a long time and took this opportunity to be leaders in the community.

“Our general thought process is that Erik and I are representatives of Hillsborough and Durham respectively and are fairly aware that our communities are pretty supportive and friendly,” Jansen said.

“(House Bill 2) will affect the most people in less supportive situations and what bathrooms they use.”

News about this beer is spreading through the community.

Sean Lilly Wilson, the founder and chief executive optimist at Fullsteam Brewery in Durham, said he has heard about the initiative but said it is hard to say whether Fullsteam will be getting involved yet.

“I support it entirely,” Wilson said about the beer-centric fundraising campaign.


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