Ordering an ‘Angel Ale’ will get you a guardian angel at GR bar

Posted at 5:22 PM, Nov 26, 2019

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A program in place at a West Michigan brewery aims to make sure all of their guests feel safe.

City Built Brewing's "Angel Ale" program was launched about a year ago. The concept behind it is to offer guests a set of code words that can be used to discreetly alert staff to an uncomfortable situation.

“The idea of having the Angel Ale program appealed to us because it was an opportunity to give women a place where they could be on a first date... and be comfortable and know they kind of had a ripcord so to speak," said Edwin Collazo, president/CEO of City Built Brewing.

The system is outlined on a poster in the women's restroom. It reads: "ARE YOU ON A DATE THAT'S NOT GOING WELL? DO YOU FEEL UNSAFE & UNEASY? GO TO THE BAR & ORDER AN ANGEL ALE."

Ordering a "10 oz. Angel Ale" will direct staff to keep an eye on you and your date, while ordering a "12 oz. Angel Ale" will alert staff to safely escort you out of the taproom and into an Uber to take you home.

City Built's taproom manager Kurt Schmiege came up with the idea, but so far the brewery has kept it mostly under wraps. But because of Safe Haven Ministries "Love Doesn't Hurt" campaign kicking off this week, they decided to share their concept.

“We see it posted quite a bit on Facebook and Instagram, and at first we thought, should it be posted? But if we want to be a light in our community, we want people to know this is a safe place,” Collazo said.