Save (and Drink) the Ales

Save (and Drink) the Ales

Mollie Reilly

Music, laughter and Saranac beer filled the Commons on Friday night as students, faculty and community members attended Save the Ales, Students for Environmental Action (SEA)’s annual fundraiser for Native Energy.

Members of SEA turned the usually mellow Commons into a lively party spot, complete with food, root beer, and of course, a variety of $2 ales supplied by Saranac Brewing Company. The walls were covered with interesting yet alarming facts about

global warming and the environment, serving as reminders of the party’s cause. Tables were also draped with informational flyers, and a projection screen set up in the corner displayed images of what is at risk if steps are not taken to preserve the environment.

So what does global warming have to do with beer? Just about everything. The main ingredient in beer is hops. Global warming and its effects on the environment decrease the amount of hops that are able to be grown. Less hops, less ale.

The event kicked off with a set by Dangerboy, which is comprised of Charles A. Dana professor of psychology Scott Kraly, associate professor of mathematics Aaron Robertson and assistant professor of biology Frank Frey. The alternative/pop trio revved up the crowd with their covers of hit songs, including “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” by Nirvana, “Vertigo,” by U2 and “Buddy Holly,” by Weezer.

Next up was student band Johnny Lemasters and the Boys.

Interspersing original songs with popular tunes such as “Come Together,” by the Beatles, “Chariot,” by Gavin Degraw and “Sunday Morning,” by Maroon 5, the band brought energy to the party while reminding the crowd of the imminent threat of global warming.

“My impression was that people had a lot of fun while they were learning about the negative impacts of global warming,” said SEA co-president Shannon Sweeney of the event. “We want to make sure that people get our message: global warming is happening, it is a big deal, and it will affect a large part of the world and those locations’ economies.”

Upwards of 400 people attended the event, raising an estimated $1,500 for Native Energy. Native Energy is a Native American-run organization that funds the building of renewable energy sources across the nation, such as methane farms and wind turbines. The money raised will go towards purchasing green tags from Native Energy. Each tag purchased offsets one ton of carbon dioxide pollution in the atmosphere. From Save the Ales, 125 tons of carbon dioxide emissions will be offset- approximately the amount produced annually by 20 households. For more information about Native Energy, log on to

In the coming months, SEA will organize several other events to raise awareness on campus for this very important and threatening issue. Among the events planned are Springfest, Earth Day and Walk Up the Hill Day, an event encouraging students not to use their cars to get to class. SEA is also working to make Colgate an emission-free campus.