The folks at New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins, Colorado, recently devised a little pumpkin-carving contest with the dual purpose of helping craft brewers to promote their seasonal pumpkin beer and help a worthy charity. The rules: Carve a pumpkin, send a photo of it with the pumpkin beer and let fans vote on the national food blog Eater. First prize is $5,000 for a charity of the winning brewer's choice.
Schlafly's Troika Brodsky actually went to Clayton High School with New Belgium's social-media manager, so St. Louis' biggest craft brewery jumped in to face New Belgium, Brooklyn Brewery, Dogfish Head, Jolly Pumpkin, Cambridge Brewing, Saint Arnold and Cigar City. After lagging behind for most of the contest, as of Monday night, Schlafly edged into the lead.
"I've had some people say our pumpkin's not the best," Brodsky tells Gut Check. "For us, sure -- it's OK if you like another pumpkin more, or another beer more. We're just asking our St. Louis fans to vote for St. Louis."
And today is your last chance.
Brodsky won't say which charity Schlafly plans to give to if it wins -- he says he doesn't want to disappoint anyone if they lose.
"We have one employee who runs the Bottleworks garden, and he's been doing a lot of projects with a Maplewood charity, so I'm hoping we can go with them as a thank-you to him," Brodsky says. "He gets really excited if he has $200 or $300 to donate, so it would be great to hand him a check for $5,000."
When New Belgium invited Schlafly to the contest, there weren't any pumpkins available in St. Louis yet. It ended up having to ship Brodsky (and a few of the other breweries) pumpkins so they could participate. Next, Brodsky called in a friend at M & H Waterjet Solutions. Their website boasts that "materials as delicate as paper and as hard as 7" thick steel can be cut with precision." It didn't mention anything about masterful pumpkin carving, but that's how Schlafly's pumpkin logo came out so crisp.
Brodsky admits that both Dogfish and New Belgium have a wider social-media audience, but he thinks St. Louis still stands a chance.
"You just have to tap a button and hit 'vote.' It's not really about who has the best pumpkin," he says. "It's about whose fans are gonna get behind something and help bring home some charity money."
You can vote HERE.