By Kate Scriven
Dick’s Brewing Company Partners with Gorilla FC, a Seattle Sounders fan club, to create a tasty beer for soccer fans and benefit local charities.
If you’ve ever watched a Seattle Sounder’s game, either on TV or live in Century Link Field, you might have noticed the rather “vocal” crowd gathered in Section 120. And while Sounders fans are both loyal and LOUD, the Gorilla Football Collective (GFC) blows them away. For the GFC, it’s not just about screaming and wearing scarves. Instead, the non-profit organization is dedicated to sharing their love of the game with the community through charitable giving.
Gorilla FC’s CIVic Tickets
Founded in 2009, the GFC has grown to nearly 400 annual members and raises funds year-round for its CIVic Tickets. For each of the seventeen home games, Gorilla FC donates four Sounders tickets and a Sounders/GFC prize pack to a deserving charity. “We formed with the idea of using soccer as an avenue to raise money for charity and build community at the same time,” shares Kevin Zelko, affinity organizer of the GFC.
Past recipients of CIVic Tickets include Boys and Girls Clubs, Big Brothers Big Sisters, First Place Schools, Seattle Education Access and many more. The receiving groups decide how to use the tickets – give them to a client who’d never get to go to a game, put them in a charity auction to raise funds, or share them with a deserving, hard working employee.
A Partnership Built on A Love of Beer and the Seattle Sounders
From its beginning, GFC members have thought that it would be awesome to create a beer that would raise money for charity.
“And now we are here – we have accomplished that,” shares Zelko. A partnership with Dick’s Brewing Company was natural. Julie Young, owner, and Dave Pendleton, Head Brewer, are avid Sounders fans. Pendleton’s sister, Katie, has been a Gorilla FC member for years and currently serves as the Seattle area Marketing and Sales representative for Dick’s. She was instrumental in working with the GFC to get the project off the ground.
“The fact that so many Sounders fans share a passion for charity is truly amazing,” shares Katie Pendleton. “The partnership between Dick’s and GFC is a win-win for everyone.”
Dick’s Brewing worked directly with the GFC’s “Beer Team” (yes…this is an official committee!) with its members selecting the name, Au GFC. Zelko, a former teacher, states there are a fair number of “science geeks” in the GFC, and they named the Golden Ale after the periodic table symbol for Gold – Au. When ordering, don’t make the rookie mistake I did and ask for an “ahhh” GFC. Be sure and order an “A-U-GFC”. “It’s fun to say….sort of like, “Hey You GFC” but its also fun to see who gets the science reference,” laughs Zelko.
With a percentage of every keg sold going to support CIVic Tickets, GFC members and Dick’s Beer fans can enjoy Au GFC at Gorilla FC’s partner bars, your favorite sports bar, and in the Dick’s Tasting Room in Centralia throughout the Seattle Sounders season. The GFC celebrates that “Soccer is a cause for drinking….now you can drink for a cause!”
Get to Know Au GFC and Dick’s Brewing Company
Dick Young started as a home brewer in 1984 and his beers quickly became favorites among his friends. In 1994, Young made the transition from home brewer to businessman and Dick’s Brewing Company was born. Young grew the business over the next 17 years, expanding to a new facility and becoming an established name in Northwest Microbrews. Sadly, Young passed away in 2009 and the ownership of the brewery passed to his daughter, Julie Young. Working with Pendleton as Head Brewer, Dick’s has continued to flourish.
The Au GFC joins an already strong list of standard and seasonal selections from Dick’s. The Au GFC is described as “a Golden Ale brewed with American Two Row, Malted Wheat, and Magnum hops. The Au GFC is dry hopped with 3 distinct varieties; Saaz, Mt. Hood and Tettnanger. The first sip brings refreshing crispness with a slightly sweet malty aftertaste. The dry hop adds a nice floral and herbal backbone to the beer making it a great session beer with a 5.5% ABV.”
For the layman, this means….it’s really good. And Seattle Sounders fans are already drinking it with enthusiasm, partnering two of their loves – beer and soccer. The GFC has even launched a “Make Your Own Beer Commercial” contest challenging fans to film a commercial featuring Au GFC. Of course, consuming Dick’s Au GFC is a must for this project.
Julie Young knows her dad, Dick, would love this partnership. “People work really hard and are so passionate about the charities they are involved in. It makes you feel good to be a part of helping with their cause.”
Sample Dick’s Au GFC at the Dick’s Brewing Tasting Room in Centralia, WA. Open Fridays from 3 – 7pm and every third Saturday (3-7pm) for tours. Au GFC can also be found throughout the area at GFC partner bars and local sports bars.