Bartenders Work Hard for a Cause (and of course have fun!)

We all know that bartenders like to have a good time.  But our hard-working bartending community is also socially conscious and is giving back to the community, one party at a time!

Three years ago when a group of bartenders went to New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail, they decided to throw a casual bbq in the park with cocktail punches and pork.  But in 2010 New Orleans was in the wake of the oil spill and they wanted to be able to help.  How could a group of bartenders help?  Pig & Punch!

Created by the Bon Vivants, a San Francisco-based bartending team, the plan was to first put in the manual labor and then also give back by doing what they do best – throwing a party.  In 2010, eleven volunteers spent time helping to build a house.  “By being hands on, it links the people to the place that need help” explained one of Pig & Punch’s founders, Josh Harris of The Bon Vivants.  At the free bbq, open to the bartending community as well as local inhabitants, tshirts were sold with the Pig & Punch logo, raising $1600.  The money benefited the KIPPS Charter Schools arts and music programs.  The following  year, in 2011, 42 volunteers helped to build and paint houses in New Orleans. Then at the bbq, 550 tshirts were sold, raising $6600 for the Kingsley House.

This year marked the third year of Pig & Punch. 68 volunteers spent a day at the KIPP Renaissance High School in East New Orleans scrubbing, painting, organizing, and cleaning.  Later that week, 1200 people (bartenders and members of the local community) showed up in the park for the free party to celebrate and  to enjoy pig and punch…..and lots of it!  Over 1000 lbs of pig were eaten and in the end only nine watermelons remained, which went home with local children. This time 750 tshirts were sold, raising almost $15,000!



Resonating with the cocktail community, Pig & Punch has been traveling to other cocktail festivals around the country, such as the Manhattan Cocktail Classic in New York last May.  The next Pig & Punch will take place next week at Portland Cocktail Week.  If you are going to be in Portland, mark your calendar!

Thursday, October 25th, 11:00am – 5:00pm – PIG & PUNCH!! Portland Style
Tons of pig, gallons of punch, hours of music, and some other funny surprises. Bring $30 for your Pig & Punch t-shirt – ALL PROCEEDS FROM T SHIRT SALES WILL BE DONATED TO LEP HIGH, a local charter school that a large group will be volunteering at earlier in the week.


Pig & Punch is fun time.  “We are just throwing a party,” explains Josh. “We do something that matters and that makes everyone feel good. It brings total joy.”