Partnership with SPARC:
As an organization committed to both our community and the planet, we try to be a steward of the city of Springfield as well eliminate unnecessary waste whenever possible. Our partnership with SPARC is a great example of a win-win stemming from those two beliefs. Instead of throwing away our spent grains, we use them for several beneficial purposes- one of which is for the handmade dog biscuits available at our eatery.
SPARC, a local advocate agency for the developmentally challenged and disabled, has a local Work Center where their citizens perform meaningful work for real pay. They produce handmade dog biscuits through their Beg-o-Bone micro-business using natural ingredients, and we felt it was a natural connection to match their hard work and our spent grains for yet another good purpose. Special batches of dog bones using spent brewery grains are made just for Obed & Isaac's, and then offered for sale to share with our furry friends. Each batch made puts approximately 25 developmentally challenged/disabled citizens to work.
Bring your best friends, both two- and four-legged, to our bocce garden to enjoy an afternoon in our K9 Social Club. While you enjoy our fine brews, your canine companions can enjoy natural-ingredient biscuits made with the otherwise-wasted byproduct!
Learn more about SPARC here.
Springfield Oyster and Beer Festival
Springfield Oyster and Beer Festival (SOB Fest) was originated in 2010 as a charitable event where all proceeds to to a different local non-profit organization each year. As it has grown over the years, so has the charitable giving! As of 2014, the SOB Festival has given over $32,000 to local charities. To learn more about SOB Festival, click here.
The 2014 recipient was Generation Healthy Kids, who received the largest SOB donation to date: $10,000! With that money, they created the SPI Community Works garden at 3rd and Canedy, on a parcel of land owned by the Conn's and allocated for use as a community garden. In spring 2015 the project kicked off, and by October 2015 the garden had yielded over 1,600 lbs of food! Most of the produce was given to the local residents and volunteers who maintained the garden, but some was used for cooking classes, potlucks, given to visitors- and donated to local shelters and food banks. Read more about it below.
In 2015, the SOB Festival was able to host another successful event which resulted in a $10,000 donation to Muscular Dystrophy Association of Central Illinois. Stay tuned to see what they were able to accomplish with the grant.
SPI Community Works Garden
As a result of the 2014 Springfield Oyster and Beer Festival, Generation Healthy Kids was able to create what quickly became their flagship garden project. With a small abandoned lot provided by the Conn family, the team created 20 raised garden beds and planted in the spring of 2015. Thanks to great compost and heavy spring rains- not to mention the dozens of volunteers- the garden quickly took off. Over 1600 lbs of food was generated from less than 1/4 acre of garden space in the first year alone.
Some quick stats about SPI Community Works Garden, as of October 2015:
- 400+ volunteer hours contributed
- 1600+ lbs of food produced (at least- who knows what neighbors might harvest between worktimes!)
- 30 adults participating at least semi-regularly
- 20 kids participating at least semi-regularly