Blame the paddleboard, or perhaps a late night crazy idea.
Or, blame the genuine laughter coming from Brad Harris’s dad.
“When I told my dad the idea, he just started laughing. I haven’t made him laugh in a really long time, and to make him laugh … it made me feel good. Now I have to do it.”
The idea coming from Harris, the full-time physician by day and self-taught brewer by night, is in support of his upcoming It’s Not Just Beer, It’s Love fundraising event for You Are Not Alone (YANA) and the BC Children’s Hospital Oncology services.
It involves his paddleboard, a keg of beer, and the destination to the Roy’s Towne Pub in Royston.
This Friday, Harris is hosting the fundraiser – which was originally set for Gladstone Brewing Company in partnership with his own Royston Nano Brewery – but has quickly grown in size.
Due to the popularity of the event, the special IPA will also be available at the Roy’s Towne Pub and the White Whale.
The challenge, said Harris, is to get the beer from Gladstone, where it is being brewed, to the various locations, via non-fossil fuel burning methods. Courtenay Coun. David Frisch has offered to bicycle courier beer to the locations around the city.
That leaves the Roy’s Towne Pub drop-off.
Thanks to a bid at this year’s YANA auction in February, Harris ended up with a paddleboard, which he said he will put to good use. He plans to tow a keg of the IPA from Gladstone, down the Courtenay River, through the estuary to the pub, on his paddleboard.
“I got the board at the auction, so I thought I should use it,” he added with a laugh. “It was part of the plan, even back then. I didn’t really think I would do it, and I’m not even sure if I’m physically able to do it, and I’ve never seen anyone tow anything on an SUP, so we’ll have to see if reality sucks.”
Harris is extending the invitation to not only the stand up paddle board community, but anyone with a non-motorized personal watercraft to join him on the adventure beginning at 8 a.m. at the kayak launch area at Lewis Park.
“I envision a flotilla of canoes, kayaks, SUPs and rowboats on the shore in front of my house, less than a block away from the pub.”
Harris planned the fundraiser as a way of giving back to YANA, after his family benefited from the charity’s services a few years ago.
YANA provides accommodations and funding for local families who need to travel outside of the area for treatment for a child under 19 years of age.
With his brewing skills and a partnership with Gladstone, Harris is giving back, by creating the limited release IPA for the It’s Not Just Beer, It’s Love event May 6 for pint sales and growler fills (at Gladstone), with all profits donated equally between YANA and BC Children’s Hospital Oncology services.
Once costs are recovered, all funds will be donated, and Harris hopes to raise around $10,000.
Harris is challenging anyone that is at the Roy’s Towne Pub to honour and fete the watercraft flotilla by buying them an IPA. He’s hoping the “pass it along” idea will continue throughout the day in support of the fundraiser, calling it “random acts of beer kindness.”
“The one thing I’ve learned from all of this is the importance of community and support … I’m not a superhero, I’m just a doctor. I bleed like anyone else, and at the end of the day, I want to be home with my family.”
The It’s Not Just Beer, It’s Love event is set to begin at 5 p.m. May 6. For more information visit roystonnanobrewery.com.
Ambassador Transportation Company is offering shuttles between the Roy’s Towne Pub and Gladstone for the event.