That’s the Beer Talking—and Saving

Homer Simpson famously called alcohol the “cause of—and solution to—all of life’s problems.” Craft brewers (and husband-and-wife team) David and Quynh Rathkamp wouldn’t exactly agree with him, but they have found a way for their Belgian-style beer to relieve at least a few problems out there. The physicians-turned-philanthropists founded Save the World Brewing Co. in 2014 expressly to donate all their profits (after operating costs) to charities. Think: Newman’s Own run by Trappist monks. So far, their beers have raised $40,000 for Habitat for Humanity, Food for the Hungry and Meals on Wheels—nonprofits they prefer because of what they saw as medical missionaries in developing countries. “As much as we loved helping our patients in Dallas, there are a lot of really basic human needs not even being addressed throughout the world,” says Quynh.

Inspired by a pastor to follow their passions, the couple quit medicine and turned David’s beloved brewing hobby into a full-time, charitable profession that doesn’t earn them a lick of salary (though they pay their staff). They get by on their savings, and there’s cheap overhead brewing at the Marble Falls family property where they’d planned to retire anyway. The headquarters boasts equipment to filter beer naturally—without pasteurization—and eco-friendly technology like solar panels and gray-water collection. It also sports a tasting room where visitors can try seasonal varieties outside the usual Save the World selection carried by various Central Texas stores and bars. Proceeds from the tasting room’s tip jar alone recently funded a new well in Uganda.

Beyond the philanthropy (this year’s goal is $50,000), Save the World stands apart in the craft brew world for its unique naming system. Just to name a few, there’s the witbier ale Agnus Dei (“Lamb of God”), the patersbier ale Lux Mundi (“Light of the World”) and the pale ale Humilus Filius (“Humble Son”) which is, as Quynh jokes, a stark contrast to, say, Arrogant Bastard beer. “We read about brewers getting into arguments with each other over using beer names that sound too much alike,” he says. “So we decided Latin names for Jesus would be safe.”

By Steve Wilson.
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