Beer for Blood: Brooklyn Brewer Denied

City blood center pulls out, calling it "cheap publicity stunt"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Call it beer for donating blood. (Published Friday, Mar 4, 2011)

    It’s called a pint for a pint.

    One free beer coupon for one donation of your blood – a program Kelly Taylor tried to organize with the New York Blood Center to entice would-be do-gooders to help save a life.

    “I know that people need blood,” Taylor said, “and the only thing I can do to motivate people to give blood…the only thing I know how to do is to entice them with something like beer.”

    Taylor, the owner and brewer of Kelso of Brooklyn, scheduled the event for Friday. He says the plan was in motion for six weeks. Then the New York Blood Center abruptly pulled out on Monday, he said.

    “I was completely side-swiped. I don’t know what happened,” Taylor said.

    When NBC New York asked the NYBC why they decided to pull the plug, we received this terse response from their outside PR firm:

    “The New York Blood Center always needs blood, but this is a cheap publicity stunt to promote a bar.”

    To be fair, Taylor claims he held the same event inside his Brooklyn brewery in December. The NYBC says it doesn’t remember if beer coupons were given at the December drive.

    Furthermore, Taylor doesn’t own a bar. The coupons were for any beer at a handful of participating restaurants and pubs.

    Dean Street, a restaurant off Atlantic Avenue just down the road from Kelso Brewery, was one of the locations involved. The owner, John Longo, says he was looking forward to the drive and is disappointed it can’t be saved.

    NBC New York asked what regular New Yorkers thought of the idea. The reaction was mixed.

    “I don’t see an issue with it. I’m all for it,” one man said.

    But one couple had a different idea. Give away Starbucks gift cards, or even better -- cash.

    According to its website, the NYBC says it needs 2,000 blood donations a day to stay supplied, but it is not currently in the middle of a shortage.

    For his part, Taylor says he’s more let down then angry. Most of all, he said, he just wanted to help.

    You can follow Katy on twitter @katytur4ny