For Stephen Roginson, owner of Batch Brewing Company in Corktown, it’s always been personal. When the brewery opened in 2015, he wanted to make sure that it did more than just sell beer; he wanted to do good in the community, too. He had a particular charity in mind -- his mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, so the Multiple Sclerosis Society was in his thoughts from the beginning -- but he found that there wasn’t yet a model for sustained philanthropy in the craft brewing industry.
So he created a model of his own. The Feelgood Tap launched in early 2016 and has spread like wildfire, first in metro Detroit and now statewide. It’s a certified nonprofit with its own board of directors who meet regularly to plan for charitable giving from local brewers. In its first year at Batch alone, the Feelgood Tap program brought in over $20,000 for the Multiple Sclerosis Society and other charities. “Craft beer in general does a really good job of local neighborhood philanthropy,” Roginson says, “but it’s never really been organized in a deliberate collaborative way.”