Three Local Breweries Team Up to Fight Breast Cancer This October

Red Cow and Pay It Forward Fund

There are a lot of dubious awareness days, weeks, and months. Come March, are you really going to celebrate National Acupuncture Awareness Week, National Stationery Week, or National Skipping Day? (We understand if you want to give some love to September’s National Dog Day.)  What about National Novel Writing Month and National Blog Posting Month—both in November?

Perhaps you forgo all of these “holidays” and focus on raising awareness for something more serious like October’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which draws attention to an all too common affliction that touches nearly everyone in some way, shape, or form. This year, four popular Twin Cities companies will partner with Pay It Forward Fund, a local nonprofit that takes a novel approach to fighting breast cancer.

The Partnership

From Tuesday, October 21 to Thursday, October 23, both Red Cow locations—Red Cow Minneapolis and Red Cow St. Paul—are hosting “Pints to Pay It Forward,” an event where 100% of the proceeds from beer sales of special kegs donated by Surly, Summit and Fulton will go to the Pay It Forward Fund. Surly and Fulton will each donate a fan favorite (Hell and Sweet Child of Vine, respectively), while Summit will contribute a yet-to-be-announced seasonal draft.

The goal is simple, says Tori Kostinen of Red Cow: “To raise as much money for this good cause as possible, and help make a difference in the community.”

The Participants

The Pay It Forward Fund’s founding mission, according to its website, is to “help patients pay their bills while they undergo treatment for breast and women’s cancers. We pay essential living expenses so patients can focus on what’s really important—getting well.”

Even if it doesn’t directly help pay patients’ medical costs, the fund provides critical breathing room for those who face crushing financial burdens related to their illness. While those who lack health insurance are at the greatest risk for insolvency, most plans only go so far to offset the cost of complex medical conditions like cancer. For many patients, ex-insurance costs like coinsurance and copays can be out of reach. And as their disease progresses or they undergo successive rounds of chemo, each often more debilitating than the last, many patients become unable to work. Without a reliable or sufficient stream of income, they’re forced to rely on the generosity of their families or what meager assistance they can wring out of the public coffers.

That’s where Pay It Forward comes in. While the organization doesn’t directly donate to breast cancer research, it does cover potentially overwhelming patient costs like:

  • Mortgage and rent
  • Car notes and repairs
  • Utility bills
  • Groceries and other essentials

The organization has helped hundreds of cancer patients since its founding (by a local breast cancer survivor, it should be noted) in 2005. It touches more lives every year. If you like donating to causes with obvious, expedient benefits for fellow members of your community, you’ll have a great opportunity to do so come October 21st.

How You Can Help

Pints for Pay It Forward will take place simultaneously at both Red Cow locations, from opening (11am) on October 21 until closing time (midnight in St. Paul and 1am in Minneapolis) on the 23rd. Stop by for lunch, dinner, or happy hour—or just to grab a quick pint in between.

Some things to keep in mind about Red Cow Minneapolis:

  • It’s located at 3624 W 50th Street, about two blocks from the intersection with France Ave in the Fulton neighborhood
  • You may have to pay for parking on 50th Street, but there’s free parking on Ewing between 50th and 51st and at the ramp complex at France & 50th
  • You can park at Wuollet’s Bakery after 6pm during the week
  • It runs two happy hours: the standard 3–6pm weekday HH and a late night (10–close) bonus, with draft beers $2 off and wine glasses $1.50 off. Try the poutine, cheese curds or wings.

Some things to keep in mind about Red Cow St. Paul:

  • It’s located at 393 Selby Ave, in the heart of the Cathedral Hill district
  • Parking on Selby and Western is notoriously difficult, but Laurel, Arundel, and Dayton—each within a block or two—have free parking and (usually) an abundance of spots
  • The same happy hour rules and terms apply

Come October, we hope to see you knocking back a pint or two for a good cause!


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