Greater Houston-Area Craft Beer Businesses Join Forces to Help Pediatric Cancer Patient

The Herrin family. Photo by Hailey Godfrey.

Visit the GoFundMe fundraiser, set up by family friend Jaime Watson, to help the Herrin family directly.

Members of the craft beer community in the Greater Houston area are coming together to help a family facing the threat of pediatric cancer. Olivia, the two-year-old daughter of Channing Herrin, the longtime manager of Vietnamese fusion and craft beer-focused restaurants Nobi Public House in Webster and Nobi Asian Grill & Sandwiches in Friendswood, and his wife, Laura, is undergoing treatment for rhabdomyosarcoma. This type of cancer can attack soft tissue, connective tissue and bones. 

Nobi Public House was opened in 2012 by brothers Charles and Andy Nguyen, and Herrin has been an integral part of the team since the beginning, curating a dizzying selection of craft beer, wine, mead and cider. The brothers also own sister concept Nobi Asian Grill, a cozy bánh mì shop in Friendswood. It’s connected to a dedicated craft beer bar called The Regal Beagle, which is where you can often find Herrin managing from behind the bar. Since opening, it has quickly become a destination for craft beer enthusiasts and industry vets who visit to sip on the latest releases, sell their wares and shoot the breeze.

A pour of Dark Presence, a special release from Fass Brewing made in collaboration with Channing Herrin of Nobi Public House. Courtesy photo.
A pour of Dark Presence, a special release from Fass Brewing made in collaboration with Channing Herrin of Nobi Public House with proceeds benefitting the Herrin family. Courtesy photo.

Over the years, Herrin has hosted countless tap takeovers, bottle shares, collaboration beers and other events to support Houston’s dynamic craft beer scene. His warm demeanor, down-to-earth approachability and genuine passion for craft beer has made him one of the industry’s most beloved local fixtures as well as a mentor to many up-and-comers. His warm camaraderie and hospitality has made the bar a welcome harbor for all who stopped in for a pint.

While the Herrins plan to continue working during the ordeal, even with insurance, the financial burden is heavy. For this reason, several local breweries and businesses have organized fundraisers with proceeds going towards covering the medical costs for a year of weekly chemotherapy, radiation treatments, frequent overnight hospital stays and multiple surgeries. 

A GoFundMe fundraiser has also been started to help the family but is still far short of the $60,000 goal. 

Fundraiser Beers & Brewery Events to Help Olivia Beat Pediatric Cancer

Back Pew Brewing Co., 26452 Sorters McClellan: This north Houston brewery has released (see taproom list) is releasing Girl Dad IPA in February. This crisp-and-clean “dad beer” was also brewed in collaboration with Channing and has big fruit flavors and is only 3.5% ABV. It makes the perfect yard-work sipper and an even better shower beer. All proceeds from the sale of Girl Dad will be donated to the Herrins. If you would like to carry this special release at your bar or restaurant, send an email to Jon Denman, who is helping the brewery organize distribution of the beer.

Channing Herrin and Jon Denman strike a pose. Courtesy photo.
Channing Herrin and Jon Denman strike a pose. Courtesy photo.

Denman, who is the co-host and founder of the Vinyl Voices Podcast and formerly owned Drink of Ages Pub and the Drink of Ages Radio Show, said, “Meeting Channing at Nobi Public House marked the beginning of a great friendship. His authenticity and genuine nature make every encounter an exciting one. The current challenges faced by Olivia are heartbreaking and it is evident that Channing’s impact extends deep into the community. The widespread support, seen in all the good thoughts and generous donations, highlights the profound role he plays in our small craft beer community. He is loved by many.”

Fass Brewing, 236 North Main, Conroe: Herrin recently helped brew Dark Presence, a Bavarian-style dunkel (a dark, German lager) with rye and experimental hops, with this Downtown Conroe brewery. It was released in mid-December as a collaboration beer with Nobi for the restaurant’s anniversary party, but following the announcement of Olivia’s cancer diagnosis, owner Dylan Emmons announced that the proceeds from all further sales of the beer would be donated to the Herrins. UPDATE: This special release sold out in February, and Fass was able to raise $2,479 for the Herrins.

Nobi Public House, 241 East NASA Parkway, Webster: The pub will offer a rotating donation tap for a full year with many kegs being donated by local breweries. 100% of the sales from this tap will go towards helping the Herrins. 

A flyer for Urban South HTX's upcoming Charity Chili Cookoff benefitting the Herrin family. Courtesy photo.
A flyer for Urban South HTX’s upcoming Charity Chili Cookoff benefitting the Herrin family. Courtesy photo.

Urban South Brewery HTX, 1201 Oliver: This creative Sawyer Yards brewery and taproom is hosting a Charity Chili Cookoff to raise funds for the Herrin family on Saturday, February 3. For more details, and to sign up for the event, visit the event page. 

Other Fundraisers

PMT YAS! Studio, 415 East Parkwood: This Friendswood theater company has arranged The Olivia Herrin Benefit Cabaret which is taking place from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, January 27. There will be live music from the PMT Band and other performances from local acts as well as a silent auction and food and libations from co-organizers Jeffrey and Sandra Meyer. Tickets are available through the website at a rate of “pay what you can”. An option to donate without attending the event is also available.

Channing Herrin and Thomas Keel yucking it up at Nobi Public House in Webster. Photo by Thomas Keel.
Channing Herrin and Thomas Keel yucking it up at Nobi Public House in Webster. Photo by Thomas Keel.

The outpouring of support for the Herrins reinforces the Greater Houston-area hospitality industry’s reputation as a giving, supportive community. 

“Channing has been one of the best friends I have made in this industry,” said Thomas Keel, key account manager at No Label Brewing. My friendship developed with him — and the rest of the Nobi staff — at the same time my courtship with my now wife was starting and flourishing. We’ve shared many laughs and hugs over the years, and our fair share of beers too. He’s been a constant in my life for my entire time in the industry, and honestly my transition into adulthood. I’m incredibly proud to call him a friend, and I love him dearly. I know he’s so happy being a dad, and he’s great at it too. Olivia is such a sweet girl, she’s so strong and so kind. He and Laura have so much love for that little one, and I know she’s got the best people on her side.”

We're rooting for you, Olivia! Courtesy photo.
We’re rooting for you, Olivia! Courtesy photo.

 

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