Breweries in St. Charles, Geneva teaming up for virtual fundraiser to benefit staff

"In This Together" Brew-Aid to be held Sunday

ST. CHARLES – Bars and restaurants have been among the businesses hardest hit by the pandemic.

At 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Pollyanna Brewing Company in St. Charles and Tunes for a Minute will host "In This Together" Brew-Aid, a livestream concert fundraising event to benefit the servers, bartenders and hourly staff of six local breweries – Pollyanna Brewing Company in St. Charles, Riverlands Brewing Company in St. Charles, D and G Brewing in St. Charles, 93 Octane Brewery in St. Charles, Alter Brewing + Kitchen St. Charles and Penrose Brewing in Geneva.

"We're all hurting right now for sure," said Pollyanna co-founder and chief financial officer Ryan Weidner. "We're all following the governor's orders too, so we had to shut our bars down. We're all hurting as a business, but our servers are really hurting. They count on tips so much. Pollyanna St. Charles is probably down 75 percent compared to normal times. There are almost 100 servers collectively in St. Charles and Geneva that this will be benefitting."

In late October, a ban went into effect on indoor service at bars and restaurants in Kane and DuPage counties as well as in Will and Kankakee counties because of a rising number of COVID-19 infections. Last month, that ban was extended to the entire state.

Although Weidner noted the breweries compete with each other, at the same time, they also are all in this together.

"It was a fun way to kind of collaborate together for the right reason," he said. "None of us are taking money from this. This is really to benefit the servers."

As part of the fundraiser, Chicago-based Latin funk band Esso will perform. The goal is to raise $40,000.

More information is at the fundraiser's GoFundMe page.