Our friends in the ABQ Craft Beer Drinkers group are stepping up to organize a good cause in the middle of the summer. The Pint for a Pint Challenge Blood Drive, normally held at Tractor during ABQ Beer Week, will return with three chances at three different breweries for people to give blood and receive some free swag and a gift certificate.
ACBD organizer extraordinaire Monica Mondragon sat down with me (Stoutmeister) at Marble on Thursday afternoon to explain why a summertime blood drive was necessary.
“Summer has the biggest blood shortage of the year,” she said, pointing out that one year in California all elective surgeries were canceled so the blood could be saved for important surgeries. If California is willing to shut down all those celebrity plastic surgeries for a summer, you know it’s serious.
To help combat another shortage Monica and the ACBD have teamed up with United Blood Services, Il Vicino, Tractor, and Marble. The three events will take place this coming Wednesday from 4 to 8 p.m. at IV Canteen, Thursday from 4 to 8 at the Tractor Taproom in Nob Hill, and Saturday, July 20, from 1 to 5 p.m. at Marble’s downtown pub. To sign up online click here. You can check to see if you are eligible to donate at United Blood Services website; use promotion code “blues.”
Now, before anyone asks, while the title may be “pint for a pint” it does not mean you get a free pint of beer for giving a pint of blood. That would be kinda dumb (“Hey, I’m really light-headed and temporarily weak; let’s drink alcohol!”) and also illegal. The Alcohol and Gaming board in New Mexico specifically prohibits breweries, bars, restaurants, or anyone else with a liquor license from giving free beer.
“A lot of people don’t donate blood because they don’t get anything out of it,” Monica said, but even though you don’t get free beer, you can still get some cool stuff for participating in this blood drive. Tractor and Marble will give you a free pint glass; it will be up to you to fill it with beer later on when you’re back to 100 percent. All three breweries will offer gift certificates which you can use to purchase swag (like a T-shirt) or put to a growler to take home the next day. None of the gift certificates will be usable until 24 hours after you give blood. They’re just being good and looking out for you.
A total of 28 people donated at Tractor during Beer Week back in April, which marked a new record. The goal, of course, is to top that mark with this summer drive. Just as importantly, it will also be a sort of mini-competition between the three participating breweries to see which one can get the most donors. Monica even has a trophy for the winner and lord knows, these breweries like to show off their trophies and medals.
For people like myself who cannot donate blood (I lived in Europe from 1980-83, making me ineligible), all I can ask is that for all of you who can donate, please get out there and help. It’s a worthy cause that can help save lives. You get to pick up a little swag from the breweries, but mostly it’s about giving back.
The Crew gives a big thanks to Monica, the ACBD, and the three breweries for once again stepping up for a good cause. We raise our glasses in your honor!