The Heartwarming Story Behind Bob's Brown Ale

Bob’s Brown Ale from Georgetown Brewing Company is more than just a sought-after seasonal beer by Washington’s largest independent brewery. The story behind it is the reason why. Most people know Manny Chao, co-owner of the brewery, through his eponymous beer, Manny’s Pale Ale. But before he made beer, he worked at a camp for kids with cancer. Manny became friends with a young camper named Bob Hirsch. Bob lived in Alaska but came to Seattle for treatments at Seattle Children’s Hospital and would stay at Ronald McDonald House while in town. When Bob died at the age of 21, Manny decided to make a seasonal beer in his honor and donate all proceeds to Ronald McDonald House Charities! Bob’s mom, Sue, chose the charity, saying, “They put us up for treatment every time we came in from Alaska.” 

Ordinarily, the beer comes out on Bob’s birthday in May in kegs and is sold by the pint at bars and restaurants throughout Puget Sound. Covid-19 threw everything off in 2020, and Georgetown Brewing Company couldn’t make it in May. But they also couldn’t end the year without releasing a batch. With so many bars shut down by the pandemic, they canned it. Naturally, as lovers of well-balanced beers, we added the tasty brew to our menu while supplies lasted. For every six-pack sold, we donated $3 to Ronald McDonald House Charities. We just wrote a check for two thousand dollars in honor of Bob to help give families with sick children more tools to cope. 

“This year's total should end up around $140,000, taking us to a cumulative total of almost $1.2 million since the first batch of Bob's in fall of 2005,” says Mat Connolly, Georgetown Brewery’s Sales Manager. “Obviously, our draft efforts this year were severely limited, though maybe ten kegs have gone out to bars. Instead, it became the story of Bob's in cans for the first time ever, almost 4200 cases total.” 

We’ll proudly raise a pint can to that!

Publish Date: February 8, 2021