Heroes Brewing Company in Rochester Partners with AFSP to Raise Money for Suicide Prevention
March 2, 2022
My brother-in-law would have turned 39 years old today. But a year and a half ago he took his own life, devastating all of us around him. Since that tragic day in August 2020, I’ve dedicated a portion of my time to raising awareness and raising money for suicide prevention. So many people in this world, myself included, struggle quietly with their mental health. Especially now that we are two years into a pandemic. So I introduced Greg Fagen, owner of Heroes Brewing Company in Rochester, to Karen Heisig, Associate Area Director for the Greater CNY Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). I wanted to combine my love of craft beer with my passion for suicide prevention. The result? #RealConvo, a New England IPA whose proceeds raise money for AFSP.
The #RealConvo Initiative
#RealConvo is more than just the name of this beer. It’s a movement to start real conversations with people – those who are struggling with mental health, those considering suicide, and those who have lost someone to suicide. The AFSP has guides to help people start those difficult conversations. Because you might be surprised at how much impact a small, meaningful conversation can have on a person’s life.
“Together, we want you to know that you don’t need special training to have an open, authentic conversation about mental health.”
Karen Heisig, Associate Area Director for the Greater CNY Chapter of AFSP
So talk to someone you know is struggling. Check in on the family you haven’t heard from lately. Show support to your friend dealing with the loss of a loved one. And don’t forget, just because someone acts strong and puts on a smile does not mean they aren’t fighting a hidden battle. Most importantly? If you are struggling yourself, be open to having a real conversation with someone to get help. I promise there is always someone willing to listen.
Visit afsp.org/realconvo for materials and conversation starters to help YOU have real convos with the people around you. You truly can make a difference.
Now, I’m so proud to announce that #RealConvo is available for purchase at Heroes, both on tap and in cans to go. #RealConvo is a delicious New England IPA – and I’m not just saying that because I want you to run out and buy some. It truly is delicious. And I’ve had LOTS of beers to compare it to.
The beer features hops from Australia and New Zealand, making it smooth and juicy with rich tropical flavors. As for the can, it features artwork from local artist and mental health advocate Abigail Whelen.
So head out to Heroes to get yourself a four-pack, or a few, and strike up some real conversations.
About Heroes Brewing Company in Rochester, NY
Greg and Marlene Fagen opened Heroes Brewing Company in December 2020. While businesses around the world were struggling to stay open, they saw an opportunity to make a difference. How? A portion of EVERY. SINGLE. BEER. sold goes to a local charity. So for every 4-pack you buy, $1 is going directly to help someone in the local community.
Since they opened, Heroes has worked with numerous local charities, ranging from Rochester’s Seneca Park Zoo to Gigi’s Playhouse for children with Down Syndrome, and everything in between. Every beer’s style, name, and can design comes from a collaborative effort between each charity and the brewery. My favorite part? There is a large whiteboard in the taproom that tracks all the current beers, which charity they are supporting, and how much money has been raised. That way you can easily see the impact you and your fellow beer drinkers are making.
Heroes Brewing Company has held a special place in my heart since I first visited in January 2020. I am proud to tell everyone I meet about the great things they are doing for the Rochester community. (Fun fact: Heroes inspired me to pitch my first article to CraftBeer.com!) Plus, Greg and Marlene are just truly wonderful people. Next time you’re in Rochester, be sure to pay them a visit.