Five Pillars Ale Creates More than 63,000 Meals for the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank

by Charlottesville29


Logo donated by Watermark Design.

In the 2019 Charlottesville 29 Restaurant Auctions, four friends pooled funds to win Beer Run’s offering — the chance to brew a collaboration beer with Champion Brewing Company. They called their beer Five Pillars Ale, a Virginia pale ale brewed in celebration of the five life principles upon which Tony Bennett built the UVa men’s basketball program: humility, passion, unity, servanthood and thankfulness. The full story is here,

When COVID-19 prevented plans for the beer’s public release, the auction winners decided to put it to a use true to its name: serve others. With the help of Champion Brewing Company, they placed the beer up for auction, in a package that included Five Pillars Ale memorabilia signed by Tony Bennett. All proceeds would go directly to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank — aid which comes at a critical time. The number of people in Charlottesville who seek the food bank’s help has tripled during the COVID-19 crisis.

What happened next is yet another instance of the theme of the auctions: kindness is contagious.

The original Beer Run auction item allowed the four winners to invite eight friends to join them for brewing day: an entire day of beer, food, and brewing.


In the Five Pillars Ale auction, after much back-and-forth bidding, the winners were the eight friends who were invited to be part of brewing day. They combined funds for a joint bid and won the very beer they had been invited to help make. “I was familiar with the Five Pillars story and had no trouble pulling together a group of friends eager to support this great cause during a very challenging time,” said Mike Egidi, who spearheaded the group bid.

Their winning bid? $2,900.

Thanks to the efficiency of the food bank, this is enough to create more than 11,000 meals for the area’s hungry.

But, the kindness did not stop there. Three generous souls were so inspired by the Five Pillars Ale auction that they each made donations to the food bank in its honor, totaling another $9,000. With these contributions and the proceeds from the two auctions, Five Pillars Ale yielded a total of $15,900 for the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, enough to create more than 63,000 meals for the area’s hungry.

If you would like to donate to the food bank in honor of Five Pillars Ale, you may do so here.

Thank you, Five Pillars. Thank you, Charlottesville.