Purpose-driven beer. For many, beer in itself IS good – tastes good, makes you feel good, means good things like time with friends or relaxation. For The Good Society Brewery & Public House, beer DOES good. Owners and founders of the newest brewery and pub in Admiral Nick Berger and Phil Cammarano have crafted a brewery that not only offers “vibrant,” innovative takes on favorite brews but brings people together to strengthen community, with a portion of every pint’s proceeds going to non-profits that support our neighbors. In an age where many are struggling to live a secure life, help from new channels not only feels good for those giving, but is essential for those receiving.
The Good Society opened right as the pandemic hit, in February 2020, but has thrived in the intervening months thanks to its founders’ unique perspectives and talents. Nick’s vision for a brewery was inspired by Sinek’s TED Talk, Start With Why, about how people can get behind a product or concept when they understand the “why” behind it; and the strategy of Impact Investing, investing not just to make money but to effect social or environmental change, introduced to him by his wife. He wanted folks to feel good about the beer they are drinking – and he wanted that beer to be delicious! That’s where Phil came into the recipe, bringing brewing experience and more than 50 awards to his name. Their partnership clearly was made of the right stuff: they were recognized at the 2020 Great American Beer Festival as “The Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year”, one of the industry’s highest honors, after only eight months of operation. Nick and Phil love the brewing process, bringing considerable research and intuitive tweaks to what guests see on the tap list, like Nick’s popular Sour IPA, or Phil’s “First to Fall” gold-medal-winning ale.
Walking the Walk, Sip by Sip
Inherent in their name, The Good Society is working to create a better community, continually refining the “how” to support the “why.” Visit the brewpub and you’ll have the opportunity to help choose which non-profit your pint supports – it’s as easy as scanning a QR code with your smartphone as you enjoy a pint and a meal. Nick recognizes need from all corners of our community, but carefully considers where the brewery’s dollars can make the most impact. This year, The Good Society is supporting the West Seattle Food Bank and the Social Justice Fund Northwest, with Forterra as the past partner. In 2020, customers’ pints translated into donations of $8,700, and the brewery is on track to meet their goal of $12,500 in 2021, with $6,500 donated in the first half of the year.
Art to Build Community Bridges
The Good Society is one of the West Seattle Art Walk’s newest partners, which means they have a vested interest in supporting Small Business as well as the arts in West Seattle. It’s a natural fit with the Second Thursday event, with a built-in audience, and a terrific wall for the art along the entrance ramp. They are hosting Jake Prendez of Nepantla Cultural Arts Gallery as their inaugural artist, whose vibrant Latinx-themed prints bring dynamic color and cultural vibrancy to the space. The Good Society will have a new artist each month, always viewable during business hours.
Fun Fact: The Good Society’s handsome logo and Greater Good mark were designed by West Seattle’s own Mystery Made Co.! Mystery Made’s retail shop is located at 4312 SW Oregon Street, and is also a participating business in the West Seattle Art Walk.
Even though we have another year of being bridgeless in West Seattle, Nick and Phil still plan for West Seattle to be a brewery destination for others “off-island,” with The Good Society continuing to create new brews and strengthen our community. In the meanwhile, all neighbors have an open invitation to come visit for a pint, play some games on Trivia Night, see the art and do some good!