Brews For Blood

The day before Mother’s Day, I have a story about a father, and of course, beer.

clint_and_dadLast year, the father of a good friend of mine was diagnosed with something called myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), which is something I’d never heard of. MDS is a blood disorder that essentially means over time the blood will lose its ability to do its job. This leads to transfusions, but transfusions also give MDS enough time to turn into leukemia, which means chemotherapy and bone marrow/stem cell transplants. Such operations aren’t an option for everyone though, and that was the case for my friend’s dad. Long story short, the disease ran its course. My friend lost a father.

Now, being a friend of mine, it will be no surprise to learn he has a fondness for beer, which is something he inherited from his dad, even down to the brewing of it. He has a fondness for IPAs but generally loves all quality beer, so when we meet for drinks at the Beveridge Place Pub in West Seattle, he’ll rely on the bartender to guide him to new things, possibly something different for each round. This is unlike me. I tend to find one thing I like and stick with it (Can you say Blue Moon? Or Manny’s? — OK, two things.).

The other main interest we have in common is writing. He’s written for City Arts Magazine, The Sun Break, and the now defunct Sound Magazine in which he once reviewed my old band Happy Hour Hero. Our singer was Chris Cornell’s younger sister, Katy (now the singer for Into the Cold), and the thing of note about that was that in that same issue, he also wrote about Chris Cornell’s joint effort with Timbaland. He gave them 3 stars. He gave us 3.5. Victory for Katy. He’s also been a huge help in editing both of my books, so I wanted to give a little something back in helping get the word out about his new project.

Brews For Blood.

The premise is simple. He wants to write about beer and donate money to organizations dedicated to finding cures for MDS, leukemia, cancer, blood diseases in general, so if a brewery sends him some samples, he’ll write about them and then donate the monetary equivalent of the purchase to one of the following: Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, University of Washington Medical Center (Cancer Care), Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation, Feather River Hospital Cancer Center, Puget Sound Blood Center, Be the Match (National Marrow Donor Program), Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, American Cancer Society. It’s beer drinking as a charitable activity. What could be better?


He’s a good writer, and the cause is a worthy one, so head over and check out his site, maybe recommend a beer he try or a brewery to contact, maybe make a donation. My mother died from pancreatic cancer so that’s what I’ll do.

So here’s to a man who enjoyed beer, and to his son’s effort to drink it as a charitable activity, to the memorial that is this project, and to finding a cure for that which ails us.


Dave O’Leary is a writer and musician living in Seattle. The Music Book, his second novel, was published by Booktrope in September 2014. In addition to writing for Northwest Music Scene, he has also had work published in The Monarch Review and on Visit his website at Photo by Stacy Albright,

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