by Jeff Cole
Anyone looking to donate to a worthy cause or purchase a brand of beer not typically found in a grocery store might want to check out the Central Beer & Redemption Center in Salamanca.
The business, which celebrated its one-year anniversary on April 1 and is located at 284 Central Ave., regularly holds can drives for local groups and organizations and boasts the largest selection of microbrews and craft beers in Cattaraugus County. Kim Bartholomew, manager of Central Beer & Redemption, said the can drives are done in a couple of different ways.
“Either they (people trying to start a can drive) pick a day and they have a can drive within like four hours and they try to get as many people to bring cans in within those four hours or we leave it open so they can come in within however (long) the customer wants – like a month – and we send out fliers. People just come in and say, ‘This is for the SW soccer team,’ and then we tally it up and the customer comes in and picks up their donation,” she said.
The SPCA, Friends of Strays, local churches and schools, booster clubs, and boy and girl scout troops are just some examples of those who have benefitted from Central Beer & Redemption’s can drives. Getting a cause designated is not much of a hassle, according to Bartholomew.
“All they have to do is call the store at (716) 945-0045 or, when they’re in the store, talk to whoever is at the front counter and we can set it up for them,” she said.
Currently, patrons can donate their cans and bottles until the end of May to help raise money for the Baptist Church of Salamanca and for an under-12 youth soccer team called the SW Catts.
Even more plentiful than Central Beer & Redemption’s list of can drive beneficiaries is its selection of microbrews and craft beers – more than 90 to choose from – which include T.J. Sheehan and Great Lakes beers.
“We carry a lot of different beers that you can’t just find at a Tops or a Parkview or whatever grocery store,” said Bartholomew.
In addition to assisting local groups and organizations with their worthy causes, the business offers a service that aids one of its own: minimizing drunk driving.
“One of the main things we do is we deliver beer. We have a license to do that and we’re trying to cut back on drinking and driving, so it’s working out pretty well,” said Bartholomew, who noted that delivery charges may vary depending on distance. “All you have to do is order more than $10 worth and we will bring it to you in our delivery van.”