Chris Guest's picture

Mikkeller Raises Funds for Refugees with New Beer

All proceeds from HELP go to Syrian refugee children in Lebanon.

Mikkeller Beer has announced the release of HELP, a beer to raise awareness and funds for the Syrian refugee crisis.

100 percent of all proceeds from this beer will go to The Danish Refugee Council, an organization that helps displaced refugees – specifically, Syrian refugee children in Lebanon. It will be released via a charity event in Copenhagen, Denmark on March 18th.

While many breweries host events and donate profits to local and national charities, rarely do you see a beer that’s whole existence is based on this concept – especially for a crisis that’s so politically troubling in Europe as this one.

Here is a release from Mikkeller:

The project was inspired by a photo series in Aftonbladet by Swedish photographer Magnus Wennman.  A series of heart-breaking images showed sleeping or exhausted refugee children without a bed, a roof over their head, a homeland and in some cases without parents.

"It was too much to bear.  We can debate refugee problems all we want, but when one sees these photos it is obvious what the essence is and how vast the contrast is between our own children and lives," says Mikkel Borg Bjergsø.

Therefore, the microbrewery contacted the Danish Refugee Aide to explore specific ways to help refugee children.  This resulted in an agreement to support the Danish Refugee Aide's work in creating child-friendly spaces in Lebanon.


Children with trauma

Lebanon is a country that is home to the most refugees.  Many of them live in poor conditions and have experienced terrible things in their past.   Children and women are especially vulnerable.  Therefore, the Danish Refugee Counsel created five permanent child friendly spaces and also operates 70 mobile locations, where Syrian refugee children are able to play, make new friends, take classes and get help and support from experienced adults - a kind of kindergarten.

"The Syrian children are forcibly pulled out of their daily lives and many have experienced war too close.  These child friendly spaces give children a respite, where they, in a safe environment, can be allowed to be children and play without  'grown-up' worries.  It makes a world of difference for the children.  The Danish Refugee Aide is deeply thankful for the support we have gotten from Mikkeller.  Without this kind of support, we could not help as many children and adults who are forced to flee as we do today," says Kathrine Schmidt, project leader for The Danish Refugee Counsel.

All profits from the beer 'HELP' will go to The Danish Refugee Counsel's work with these child friendly spaces.  The beer will be distributed and sold worldwide and the plan is to brew it every year to continue the support. 


Magnus Wennman's photoseries in Aftonbladet

Photos Courtesy of Mikkeller