Close Menu
Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Burley Build to raise money for Worcester Habitat

(April 23, 2015) For the past two years Burley Oak Brewing Co. in Berlin has taken part in the Habitat for Humanity of Worcester County’s winter fundraiser, Holiday Gala for Homes, raising money to build houses for local families.
Inspired to take things to the next level, the brewery endeavored to launch their own series of “benefestivals” for local charities, beginning with the Burley Build Benefest, an outdoor beer and music festival held on the brewery grounds on Saturday, May 16.
“We worked with very closely with [Habitat Executive Director] Andrea Bowland the past two years, sponsoring it at the highest level and holding a separate fundraiser to help sell tickets,” General Manager Nicky Chavis said. “After the finale of that event we decided it would be really fun and really cool to do something here.”
By holding the event at Burley Oak Chavis said the brewery can keep overhead costs as low as $1,000, meaning almost every dollar raised in every facet goes directly to Habitat for Humanity.
Habitat’s efforts in Worcester County struck a particularly resonant chord with the Burley Oak team, according to Chavis, because the nonprofit assists locals not unlike the dozen or so employees at the brewery.
“Anybody in this county that would go to a bank and say, ‘hey, I don’t have 20 percent to put down,’ the bank will say, ‘We’re sorry. You’ll never be able to buy a home,’” Chavis said. “The Habitat of Worcester County can help somebody purchase a home at zero percent interest, and it’s extremely affordable and you pay directly to [the nonprofit].
“In the past two and a half years we’ve been able to provide jobs to 14 people, including health insurance, and we’re really proud to be able to do that and be a part of the community,” Chavis continued. “So, to be able to help somebody like the people we live and work with every day was kind of a big deal for us. It gives people like us to purchase a home at an affordable rate.”
Burley set a goal to raise $22,000 during the event, enough to pay for the framing, walls and roofing for the exterior of an entire house.
Tickets are $40, which includes unlimited craft beer samples, live entertainment from 2-8 p.m. and admission to the adjacent art market. Burley Oak will also sell t-shirts made specifically for the event for $25.
All of the proceeds from tickets and t-shirts, as well as 20 percent of the art market sales, go to Habitat for Humanity of Worcester County.
The event also includes a food truck provided by SoDel Concepts, as well as a cornhole tournament with prizes awarded to the top-three finishers.
Sponsorships are available with visibility incentives, starting at the “blue” level for $250, and topping off with the “gold” package for $2,000.
“We just figured it would be a fun way to raise money that’s not terribly expensive,” Chavis said. “For $40 dollars it’s pretty affordable, and you’re getting unlimited beer and live music all day. Hopefully it will be very successful, and we plan on volunteering and taking part in the actual build of the home after everything is set up.”
Bowland said Habitat was “excited” to have the opportunity to partner with Burley Oak.
“They champion the movement to buy local and support local businesses, which in turn helps local families and stabilizes the community,” she said. “Habitat for Humanity shares that sentiment.
“This festival is the coming together of all of these efforts. The money raised by the community celebrating at this event, purchasing goods created by talented local artists, enjoying the craft beer made by Burley Oak, will help build a home for one of our local families,” Bowland added.
Tickets are available online at