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Better Drinking Culture (BDC) is a social movement aimed to shift the world’s relationship with alcohol in a healthier and more positive direction.

BDC is launching their Universal Mug Club in August. It will give members access to drink out of BDC’s custom mug stored behind the bar at BDC’s roster of Certified Partners with the same benefits as those establishments’ own mug clubbers or loyalty program guests get to enjoy. The program will launch with approximately 5-7 establishments, with expectations of adding 3-5 new Certified Partners per month. The vision for the Universal Mug Club is to provide enhanced experiences for guests across the country when they visit BDC’s growing network of Certified Partners.

How does a universal mug club build a better drinking culture? To unlock access to the Universal Mug Club, people subscribe to become a member of the BDC with a modest annual financial contribution. These funds are used to develop and distribute resources and tools like BDC’s forthcoming book, The Drinker’s Manifesto, to help educate people how to have a healthier relationship with alcohol by empowering them to drink better.

BDC’s Universal Mug Club is a complementary component to their Certification Program, which distinguishes breweries, distilleries, bars, and restaurants for putting the health and safety of their customers first, and promoting quality over quantity.

How The Universal Mug Club Works Step 1

  • Put your name on the waiting list to join the BDC Membership Program. Those on the waiting list will get early access to test the program
  • The top 15 people on the waiting list get in for free
  • Download the BDC app as soon as the program launches Step 2
  • Visit our Certified Partners to enjoy their offered perks Step 3
  • Flash your virtual BDC Membership Card on your phone
  • Ask for your favorite beverage in the BDC Universal Mug Club glass
  • Drink out of it with pride, and share your experience on social media using the engagement prompts on the mug

To sign up on the waiting list, and for more information, visit online.

 

Better Drinking Culture is a social movement aimed to improve the world’s relationship with alcohol by educating and empowering people to drink better and live healthier—because hangovers suck.

Camden Brieden (/brē-den/), a West Michigan native, founded BDC in early 2015 after having been inspired by his friends’ alcohol-spiked war stories. Brieden knew there was a better way to drink, in a more positive direction—a lifestyle free from addiction, harm, hangovers, and regret.

better drinking culture

Jason Ley & Camden Brieden

In the summer of 2016, Brieden launched BDC’s Certification Program. The program’s goal is to build a network of breweries, distilleries, and bars and restaurants across the country that support the vision of BDC by helping their guests make educated choices about where to drink. Certified Partners are vetted and recognized for putting the wellbeing of their customers before profits, and quality above quantity. This program is also the start of a much broader initiative to certify colleges, communities, and states on how their drinking culture stacks up to others in the country. The first two establishments to become BDC Certified were New Holland Brewing and Brewery Vivant.

In January 2017, Brieden appointed Jason Ley (/lā/) to CEO. Ley relocated from Detroit to Grand Rapids in 2010. Ley has 14 years of combined executive management, sales, and marketing experience in the hospitality, entertainment, music, and publishing industries—most recently as Beer Program Manager at Grand Rapids Brewing Co., and previously as Director of Business and Marketing at a national tech integration firm. Ley’s immediate responsibilities for BDC include securing private funding to continue expanding BDC’s portfolio of products intent on empowering change, to broaden BDC’s nationwide network of Certified Partner establishments, and to motivate a tribe of brand ambassadors who have their own story to tell.

Read Ley’s blog on Medium, about his journey with BDC.

better drinking culture

About Jason Ley
Ley stopped chasing the cliché American Dream in 2015 to live smarter, travel more, and transition professionally into the world of craft beer. Ley moonlights as a freelance journalist for MittenBrew, Experience Grand Rapids, and Condé Nast affiliate, October. Ley is the creator, writer, producer, and host of Modern Ahabs, a non-staged reality show about craft beer enthusiasts chasing their bucket list beers. Ley is also studying to become a Certified Cicerone®, and thoroughly enjoys its necessary research and development. Connect at jasonley.com and @jasonley.

About Better Drinking Culture
Camden Brieden, a social entrepreneur in the startup business space, founded Better Drinking Culture in 2015 after having been inspired by shared stories of alcohol’s impact in the lives of those around him. BDC’s mission is to improve the world’s relationship with alcohol, educating and empowering people to drink better and live healthier. #BecauseHangoversSuck. For more information, and to share your story, say “Hello” at betterdrinkingculture.org.

 

odd side funk fest

A long overdue festival for Odd Side Ales finally popped its cherry on Saturday. OSA has been exploring the idea of a festival for quite a while now. They always liked the idea of having an outdoor anniversary festival, but since their anniversary falls on St. Patrick’s Day, the weather never seemed like something they would have on their side.

“So why not do it in the summer time, on the water, at a time when nothing else historically is going on downtown, while benefiting the city. We want to celebrate our success and thank our customers by throwing them a gigantic party,” said Reid Warber, OSA Tap Room Manager.

odd side funk fest

It took a bit of convincing when it came to pitching the festival to the City of Grand Haven. Warber had to firmly express that this isn’t just an ordinary beer tent—it isn’t Anheuser Busch with tall boys. OSA wanted to showcase local beer and local food. After three city council meetings, a few additional meetings with the city, a long check list and a lot of beer, they finally got the city’s blessing.

“I love watching Odd Side get better and better every year. I am excited for their first festival,” stated Brent Newville, OSA mug club member.

OSA Funk Fest was a day spent showcasing funky music—Chris Wiser-The human jukebox, Plain Jane Glory, Starmen, and Mainstays—their beer, local food and a silent disco. Silent Disco? Yeah, I had no idea either. A 60’ x 40’ tent lined one corner of the festival, where  you could only hear the DJs via headsets. Throughout the later part of the day SoundIsRed, DJ JSUPP, Clark After Dark played separate sets, then at the very end, they all played together. You could tune the headset into three different stations to pick who you wanted. From an outside perspective you could not hear any music, but could see a lot of people dancing their butts off. Someone who loves people watching, which I admit is me, could try and figure out which people were listening to the same stations by their dance moves.

The beer list had summer in mind with different variations of IPAs: The Implication Triple IPA, Mango IPA, Blood Orange IPA, Pineapple IPA, El Dankerino Double IPA; Sours: Touch of Red, Sour Grapes, Funk Soul Brother; and even some heavy hitters like Hazel’s Nuts – Barrel Aged Imperial Stout with hazelnuts, The Nihilist – Barrel Aged Double IPA, and Mayan Mocha Stout – coffee stout with cinnamon, nutmeg and habanero, to name a few. Hipster Brunch Stout – Barrel Aged Stout with coffee, maple syrup and bacon had a special unannounced tapping at around 6pm.

“This is one funky fest,” stated Joe Wallace, OSA mug club member.

Saturday was the day to just get Funky—plain and simple. Festival goers were also seen playing corn hole, conquering giant jenga, hanging with friends, meeting new friends, and checking out the Better Drinking Culture booth. Better Drinking Culture is a grassroots movement with efforts to shift our culture’s relationship with alcohol to a healthier and more positive direction. If you scored a 100% on their quiz you received a free t-shirt.

 

“This festival has good vibes and a friendly crowd,” stated Shane Timmins, local resident.

The festival itself was ran by volunteers with a love for OSA.

“They are my favorite brewery. We first poured for them awhile back at the Microbrew and Music Festival in Traverse City and now follow them wherever we go,” stated Amanda and Heather Reno, Funk Fest volunteers/ ‘groupies’.

Some people who joined in on the fun were people just walking by, curious as to what was going on.

“This is just the beginning to what I have up my sleeve for the future,” stated Reid Warber, OSA Tap Room Manager.

 

Photography: Steven Michael Holmes