By MAX PRINZ & RICHARD BORDELON
Beer made a glorious return to Dagger Johns for the second event in RHA’s The Series Tuesday night. The second annual beer tasting, hosted by The Bronx Beer Hall, served as a fundraiser for Camp Rising Sun.
Camp Rising Sun, based in Vermont, is a camp for children aged 5-17 who have been diagnosed with cancer. The camp is funded entirely by donations in an attempt to ease the burden on families suffering from a cancer diagnosis.
“What’s great about [Camp Rising Sun] is they are funded by donors because they don’t want the kids to pay to go to camp,” said Alex Whiteaker, FCRH ’14, executive vice president of RHA. “When you work with them, they give you a brochure that basically lays out where your money goes.”
Whiteaker also said that the pediatric cancer theme was an important part of RHA’s event.
“I wanted to do the whole event this year focusing on pediatric cancer, especially with [Fordham Dance Marathon] going to B+,” Whiteaker said. “I also really liked [Camp Rising Sun’s] statement. They have a few videos online and you really get a sense that they really try to do the best they can for these kids going through these horrible times. “
Sarah Hill, RHA’s executive president, also stated that Camp Rising Sun was a worthy cause.
“Camp Rising is a new beneficiary for us this year,” Hill said. “You don’t get to [decide where the money goes] with every charity and that is definitely unique. I’m excited that we get to funnel our funds to things that we care about.”
Students tasted six beers throughout the event, five of which were brewed in New York, the one brewed in the United Kingdom. They included the Kelso Pilsner, the Captain Lawrence Brewing Company Imperial IPA, Bass Pale Ale (from the U.K.), the Fire Island Lighthouse Ale, Mother’s Milk Stout and Woodchuck Cider.
Paul Ramirez, the co-owner and managing partner of The Bronx Beer Hall, led the students through the tasting explaining the various properties of each beer and what goes in to making them. He partners with Fordham due to the connection between his establishment and the students of the university.
“We see kids from Fordham University…now doing more of their shopping within the market actually supporting the local businesses all up and down Arthur Avenue,” Ramirez said. “The [students] see the value of supporting local businesses.”
Another important point of the tasting was to allow students to gain an appreciation for craft beers that are often less popular than those of large breweries, like Anheiser-Busch and Miller.
“New York is in the Renaissance where you’re focusing on artisanal foods, artisanal craft across the board, so why aren’t we focusing on artisanal beer,” Ramirez said. “If you take the time to focus on these smaller brands these more locally owned brands, these brands that, while they may be small-scale, they are high quality.”
This philosophy of trying to educate this new generation of students on the various kinds of local brews available is part of the reason Bronx Beer Hall works with Fordham on events like this one.
“We want you to be able to appreciate the brands, the flavor we want you to appreciate what actually goes into creating these beers,” Ramirez said. “That’s really why we enjoy working with Fordham.
In between rounds of samples, Ramirez quizzed students on their knowledge of Bronx, N.Y., and reminded them that the Beer Hall closes when the party ends.
Students said they enjoyed the event. It provided a unique opportunity to socialize with friends while drinking alcohol in safe environment.
“It was my first Fordham 21 or over event,” said Alice Smyth, GSB ’15. “A lot of my friends were coming which was nice. I liked how they put together a fun event that also had a purpose towards what you were donating to. And it’s also really nice to taste the selection of Beer Hall drinks.”
Somewhere around 50 people attended the beer tasting. An informal poll showed the opening beer, the Kelso, a pilsner from Brooklyn, N.Y., and the Woodchuck apple cider were the favorites of the night.
Overall, RHA’s executive said they were very pleased with the event.
“I thought tonight went really well,” Hill said. “To be honest it is cool to just hang out with your friends on campus and it is allowed. So it’s a good environment just to hang out and have good fun.”
Max Prinz and Richard Bordelon are Sports Editor and Opinion Editor, respectively, at The Fordham Ram.
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