It was a childhood dream of Kensington native Tom Sheridan to give back to his community while doing something that he loves. Since he can remember, beer has always been his passion. That factor alone led him to start his very own brewing company. As a Freemason, Sheridan decided to name his brewery after the pen name of fellow Freemason Benjamin Franklin, “Silence Dogood.” Opening in July, Do Good Brewing Company will donate five to ten percent of its profits to a specific local charity.
“I don’t want to give money to a huge corporation, I want to give money to a smaller organization that needs it,” said Sheridan. “Five percent of The United Ale beer will go towards childhood poverty.”
Sheridan is launching his brewery off with the United Ale beer. It is a cream ale that was conceived in his Kensington home. Besides the United Ale, Sheridan has lined up three other recipes that will be sold come July.
“We have a beer that will benefit autism, pediatric cancer and orphanages as well,” said Sheridan. “Our beer won’t be making profit until the late summer, but when we do start bringing in money, we will start donating to local children in need.”
At age seventeen, Sheridan started his own flower shop. In 2008 he sold his business to pursue his dream of making beer.
“I fell in love with brewing,” said Sheridan. “I didn’t have a passion for flowers like I did for beer.”
Sheridan started the brewing company with a business partner, but is currently the sole owner. After years of making his own beer, Sheridan decided to bring on a co-brewer, current head brewer Tom Conkwright.
“Tom was a blessing,” said Sheridan. “He came out of the blue, emailed us and turned out to be a huge asset to the company. He’s an awesome brewer and actually has a degree for it.”
After spending five months in a brewing course at the Siebel Institute of Technology, Conkwright was able to master his craft.
“It was an intense 9 to 5 course,” said Conkwright. “I spent two months in Chicago and three months in Germany. The Germans were really the first people to master beer, so it was an experience.”
Along with establishing Do Good, Sheridan is also the founder of website design company Brainsick Media, and Conkwright is employed at a commercial beer company. They brew twice a week and consider the brewery their weekend jobs.
“When I met Tom, I loved the idea about giving to charity, so that made me even more excited to be a part of it all,” said Conkwright.
The beer brewed on 3245 Amber St. in Port Richmond will be sold in local bars and restaurants throughout the greater Port Richmond area. Byrne’s Tavern, Kensington Pub, Cedar Point and Barcade will all house the handcrafted beer come the end of July.
“Tom is a great guy and it helps that their beer is really good too,” said Sean Hallion, craft beer manager at Barcade in Fishtown. “He’s making beer that people in the community would want to drink and come out for, and he’s using it to give back to the community.”
– Text and images by, Catherine Palmer and Angelise Stuhl