by Ken Weatherford 3K Lives Impacted United States
ABOUT BEER & HYMNSIn an increasingly divided world, Beer & Hymns is bringing people together to raise our glasses, raise our voices, and ...
We at Beer & Hymns know that NWA is one of the most generous communities on earth. With your help, we have already raised over $9,300 just this year for local and global causes you care deeply about. Now we are asking for you to help us grow.
Beer & Hymns is expanding to multiple venues across NWA, and soon well beyond. One tool that will help us get the word out even further is producing our very own record. That's right, the real deal too. We'll throw a live, in studio album party that we will then release to Vinyl and Digital. So dust off your old record players (if you haven't already), because this is going to be good.
Our 1st Level Goal is to raise $2,500.
This will cover the cost of studio time, recording, and musicians.
Our 2nd Level Goal is $5,000.
This will cover the Mixing and Mastering of the project and help us be ready to release.
If we can get at least to Level 1, we will be able to begin the early stages of the recording process. Coupled with other strategic local partnerships, we hope to release an album in the Spring of 2020.
The brewery taproom is crowded tonight. Benches line long community tables. Seats and pint glasses are full. Their contents are as varied as the crowd: IPA, oatmeal stout, Belgian wheat; root beer, Cabernet, Diet Coke. The place is just humming.
At one end of the patio, an older couple laughs with friends. At the other, millennials add to their Instagram stories. Young parents bounce babies in carriers. Kids play with dump trucks and dinosaurs in the pea gravel. Bartenders chat with regulars. Suddenly, the strum of a guitar draws all attention to the front of the taproom, and we sing.
From “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” to “How Great Thou Art.” On to a barn-stomping medley of “I’ll Fly Away,” “I Saw the Light,” and “When the Saints Go Marching In.” The set list is also dotted with cover songs following a monthly theme: Love Songs, Songs of the 60’s, Back to School, Road Trip, Christmas Carols.
This is Beer and Hymns. A motley mix of locals filling up this space once a month, shaking hands and passing song sheets. Some know these hymns by heart; others have never sung them before. Some are regular churchgoers; others have sworn off organized religion. (And most everyone gets on board with Purple Rain and Let It Be). But in this place, something special happens. As voices and glasses are raised, divisions dissolve and hearts are softened. Hands reach across tables, and powerful connections are made. This is a truly communal experience, bringing people together and reminding us that we’re not that different after all.
We end every Beer and Hymns gathering with the same song, called “All of the Hard Days are Gone” by Kevin McKrell. People throw arms around shoulders, lift their glasses high, sway, and sing with gusto:
All of the hard days are gone
It’s all beer and whiskey and songs from now on
We’ll laugh at the darkness and dance until dawn
All of the hard days are gone.
That’s what we’re doing at Beer & Hymns: laughing at the darkness—that claims our differences are too great; that keeps us sheltered and comfortable; that denies a brewery can be holy ground.
Pull up a seat. Let’s laugh at the darkness together.