Talking with a couple friends recently, Andrew Young was looking for a way to combine three of his passions: nonprofit work, local beer and local coffee shops.
The Union Square resident eventually came up with Baltimore Brew Club, a program launched at the end of June that aims to promote local businesses through discounted items while raising money for what he considers important causes.
Members pay $10 for a coffee "passport" that features one-time benefits like a free cup of coffee and buy-one-get-one-free deals at 11 locations, including Argosy Café, the Bun Shop and New America Diner. A beer passport ($20) will be available starting next week, offering similar deals at breweries and bars like Key Brewing Co., Waverly Brewing Co., Clavel and others.
"[It's] raising awareness about nonprofits in the city in a fun way by making a tour guide for breweries and coffee shops — places that are either making things here in Baltimore or serving Baltimore-made beer and coffee," Young, 34, said.
Young plans to donate profits from passport purchases to organizations such as Baltimore Bike Party, Refugee Youth Project and the international relief and development agency World Relief, where Young is a finance manager.
It did not take much convincing to get local companies on board, Young said.
"They know it's going to a good cause," he said. "And it's a fun way to get people into their locations."
The plan, Young said, is to create more passports in the future with more participating businesses. He hopes to donate at least 80 percent of membership dues.
"I'm hoping it's going to be more than that," Young said. "I'm not trying to make any money off of it. I think it'd be pretty sweet if I could donate a few thousand dollars or more by the end of the year."