Ten years ago the Durango Bootlegger’s Society, the local consortium of Durango’s four award-winning craft breweries, hosted their first annual “Pint for Pint” blood drive. The inaugural event was developed in 2003 by members of the Durango Bootlegger’s Society, which includes Ska Brewing Co., Steamworks Brewing, Carver Brewing and Durango Brewing. They recognized a need to help during a blood shortage, and noticed United Blood Services was having a difficult time securing much needed donations. In response, they developed the “Pint for a Pint” concept, in which they offered donors a voucher for a pint of beer at a brewery of their choice in return for their blood donations. This annual event, and the friendly competition amongst the breweries, has grown over the last 10 years. In 2011 the Durango Bootlegger’s Society acquired 74 pints of blood from 62 donors, and has spawned and inspired many similar drives by breweries such as Stone Brewing Company and several breweries in Washington State.
In 2011, while perusing the social media pages of several craft breweries, I stumbled upon the Stone Brewing Company Pint for a Pint event in which donors are given Stone pint glasses in return for blood donations. Having been a blood donor for several years, I thought this was a great event and a good incentive to try to get people to donate blood, as many are wary to do. A few months later, one of the residents at UNMH who had done a rotation at our office mentioned on Facebook the blood shortage in Albuquerque while in the process of completing her hematopathology rotation. I immediately thought of the Stone Brewing Company event and was inspired to try to coordinate a similar event here in Albuquerque. After having volunteered a few times for events for Feel Good Festivals, I contacted Marne Gaston about organizing a blood drive for 2012 ABQ Beer Week and we formulated a plan of action. It was during my contact with United Blood Services of New Mexico that I discovered the concept for this event actually started in Durango, and they gave out vouchers redeemable for a pint of beer. “Wow! That’s an even better incentive!” I thought, and we then started contacting breweries to see who would be interested in hosting the blood drive. Tractor Brewing Company, Isotopes Brewing Company, and Santa Fe Brewing Company were the first to respond in support of the event. ABQ Beer Week 2012 marked the inaugural “Pint for a Pint” blood drive, sponsored in Albuquerque by Tractor Brewing Company and Isotopes Brewing Company. Donors received a pint glass from Isotopes Brewing Company and a $4 gift certificate to Tractor Brewing Company redeemable 24 hours after blood donation. The 1st Annual Pint for a Pint Blood Drive benefiting United Blood Services of New Mexico was a success, with the event exceeding our goal of 19 donors!
This year Tractor Brewing Company was generous enough to volunteer again to host our 2nd Annual Pint for a Pint Blood Drive for ABQ Beer Week 2013! This year we hope to exceed our goal of 19 donors and really help our local/state community. Given the tragic events throughout the last week, blood donation is even more important to keep the reserves up for life saving surgeries. On Wednesday April 18th United Blood Services posted their need to boost the reserves of both O- and A- blood for the blood bank following recent national events. This year donors will receive not only the $4 gift certificate for Tractor Brewing Company, but they will receive a Tractor Brewing Company pint glass as well for helping the local community. For more information on this event potential donors can go to www.abqbeerweek.com, www.getplowed.com, or www.unitedbloodservices.org to learn more about blood donation. To schedule an appointment for this event you can sign up at www.unitedbloodservices.org with sponsor code “Blues,” or you can contact me via email at email@example.com or at 505-803-2449.
Monica Mondragon works at the Office of the Medical Investigator, and is also the Head Organizer for ABQ Craft Beer Drinkers Group.