By David MacDonald I ’m of course being facetious. Mr. Blum was as forth- right with me had we been hoisting a couple of his Twin Sirens beer at the Bad Martha Farmer’s Brewery in Edgartown, Massachusetts on Martha’s Vineyard. The Founder and Owner of Bad Martha Beer told me about his time on the senior management team at YUM! Brands. He told me how when he was there he created what is now the world’s largest hunger relief effort in the private sector which has to date donated nearly $700 million USD to hunger relief agencies around the globe, primar- ily in the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). He told me that distributing nutritious food to remote locations in the Third World, particularly to women and children, was part of his DNA. That’s why now, even in retirement – or rewirement, as he puts it – he’s still giving back. ‘Our motto,’” he told me, “‘is ‘Get Bad, Do Good.’” The first ten percent of all Bad Martha Beer profits goes to the WFP and local programmes. What he told me next was the answer to the big question that had sat burning on my tongue: What’s the story behind the name Bad Martha Beer? “All brews are made from grape leaves from Martha’s Vineyard and the packaging and story behind each one is designed and created by me.” Both Blum and his business partner Peter Rosbeck were born on Martha’s Vineyard. That part was clear: Martha’s Vineyard puts the Martha in Bad Martha Beer. They’re proud Dukes County boys who set-up shop on the island. But the adjective ‘Bad’ really plays with the imagination. Is she an unsung maritime accomplice of Thelma and Louise? Is she the beer-thieving, ne’er-do-well cousin of a certain hamburger-stealing restaurant chain mascot? Not quite. “We wanted to be a little bit irreverent,” he explains. “Each of us has a little bit of bad inside of us and most of us don’t let it out very often. We thought it’d be fun to come up with a backstory dating to the founding of Martha’s Vineyard. It’s really taken off.” It’s not hard to see why. When people think Martha’s Vineyard, they think bonfire diversion on the beach: In 1602, mischievous winds drove Bartholomew Gosnold’s ship to Martha’s Vineyard. As legend has it, he scoured the island for ingredients to brew ale for his crew. Alas, he found none and he fell asleep on the shore. Under the light of the moon, he awoke to a sensuous mermaid with jet black hair and a devilish grin. Sitting at the water’s edge, she beckoned to Gosnold. The closer he got, the further she swam away – tempting him to follow. So he did. Finally, he found himself in a field brimming with lush island grapes. “These would be perfect for wine,”



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