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Two West Michigan breweries partner to offer mental health services to staff

Photo of Chris Andrus, co-founder of The Mitten Brewing Company, smiling while holding a beer with his arm outstretched.
Chris Andrus
The Mitten Brewing Company

The Mitten Brewing Company and Trail Point Brewing Company have partnered on a beer that will raise funds for mental health services for their employees.

The beer, "Things We Don't Say IPA," is inspired by the national conglomeration, Things We Don't Say: Craft Beer for Mental Health Project. 100% of proceeds earned from selling the newest menu item will go towards the free of charge mental care services through The Well Being Counseling and Fitness Center in Grand Rapids.

"Thankfully they (The Well Being) are imaginative and flexible on a way that we could do this without breaking the bank, because obviously it's a bad time financially for my industry. But you know, it wasn't something we feel like we could sit on the sidelines with any longer," Chris Andrus, co-founder of The Mitten Brewing Company, said.

Andrus said he knew he wanted to be involved in the project when an industry colleague with Trail Point Brewing approached him, citing his own obstacles with mental health.

"Gary from Trailpoint, the owner, reached out because he knew that I'd been outspoken about my mental health struggles in the past, and so has his son," Andrus said adding that this is a "perfect time" for a move toward mental wellbeing, "...I talk to people every day that say that they never had mental health issues in the past, and now they do. Our industry has very much been on the frontlines of the pandemic, and I can speak for all restaurant employees that have been unfairly abuse by guests and stuck in between a rock and hard place with government regulations and enforcement. It's been a tough year for everybody."

"Things We Don't Say IPA" debuted on Monday evening. Andrus said it has seen overwhelming support.

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