THE TERRY PORTER
In January 2016, family-owned Gilgamesh Brewing unveiled a new collaboration beer, The Terry Porter. The American-style Porter was named after Portland Trail Blazer’s legendary point guard Terry Porter. While it started out as a seasonal winter brew developed to help raise money for a good cause, it has become much more than that.
Gilgamesh Brewing is known for their involvement in the community and for contributing through their beer sales to worthwhile organizations and events. In fact, it was when brewery family co-owner Matt Radtke was meeting with Terry Porter to have him autograph some beer bottles for a donation basket that The Terry Porter collaboration beer came to life. During the bottle signing, Matt mentioned that Terry’s last name, Porter, happens to be a style of beer and that Gilgamesh was planning on creating a new one. Matt asked if Terry would like to collaborate and use the opportunity to raise money for a local non-profit. As a long-standing board member of The Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Foundation, Terry knew just the non-profit he’d like to help raise money for and everything fell into place. Soon after, Terry helped Gilgamesh brew the first batch of The Terry Porter, a batch that would lead to resounding and widespread success. Terry has been an incredible representative of OHSU Doernbecher, the Oregon community, and his namesake beer. Based on the wildly successful trial season of The Terry Porter, having raised nearly $50,000 in its first year, the beer has become a permanent fixture of the Gilgamesh line and has become one of their bestselling brews to date.
Gilgamesh and its distribution partner, Columbia Distributing, generously donate a portion of the revenue created by the sales of The Terry Porter beer to The Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Foundation: $25 from each keg, $1 from every 22oz bottle, and $1 from each case of the new 6-pack cans. In addition, $1 from every The Terry Porter pint purchased in the Gilgamesh restaurant at “The Campus” is added to a giant glass case where customers can see their dollars add up. They are also encouraged to shoot wadded up money balls into the case for a little extra contribution and for some basketball fun.
While the success of The Terry Porter and the difference it has made for children served by OHSU Doernbecher is clear, it has also been tested by unfortunate incidents. In March 2018, the Gilgamesh restaurant at “The Campus” was burglarized, the giant glass case shattered, and the culprit got away with $4,000-$6,000 in funds that would have gone to The Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Foundation. Heartbreaking to say the least, the good news is that the community came to the rescue and replaced the stolen funds. In an effort to continue this positive momentum and awareness, Gilgamesh hosted the first annual Gilgamesh Benefit Dinner on June 2, 2018. The event featured an epicurean style feast, open bar, raffle, and silent and live auctions, followed by dessert, live music, and dancing. All proceeds from the event went to The Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Foundation; the evening was an amazing success. The Benefit Dinner raised over $30,000 through the generous help and donations from attendees and donations from beloved local sponsors. One highlight from the evening was the “Brew Your Own Beer” live auction item that ended with a bidding war between Beer + Yoga and Deeks Duck Decoys. In the end, Gilgamesh Brewing decided it was best to maximize donations and offered both bidders the prize. A few months later the Om Brew Juicy Pale Ale was created and brewed with Yogi Mikki Trowbridge as was the Deeks Blood Orange Kristallweizen with the Feusner family. Both beers were a hit in 22oz bottles and on draft at the Gilgamesh Campus.
Gilgamesh Brewing can’t express their gratitude enough for the amazing support of Terry Porter, the community that continues to support the effort, and each person who buys The Terry Porter beer. Since the launch of The Terry Porter, Terry has become the head basketball coach for the University of Portland men’s basketball team while still finding time to help promote the beer and to make the occasional sales call. Gilgamesh Brewing teams up with supporting bars, restaurants, and grocery stores to create cross-promotional fundraising events throughout the Blazer season. With everyone’s help, over $150,000 (and counting) has been raised to support the work of The Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Foundation.
If you would like to support this great beer and cause, Gilgamesh Brewing will be hosting their second annual Benefit Dinner on April 20, 2019. They are now taking auction item donations and table reservations for what will be another fun-filled event.
Contact Matt@gilgameshbrewing.com if you would like to help.
You can find bottles at New Seasons, Roth's Fresh Markets, Whole Foods Markets, and where ever the best craft beer is sold. If they don't have it, ask them to bring it in for you!
Find it on draft at participating bars and restaurants across Oregon.