Co-founder John Newton is a proud father of three children. His youngest, Matthew, is autistic. Matt is a high-energy soul who does not have many words. However, Matt did help us name our brewery! One of Matt’s few phrases that has stood the test of time is “Woggly Square.” What that phrase means to Matt is a mystery to us. But what Woggly Square means to us is profound. It means that although autism has impacted our family, we’re going to make an impact on autism!
Woggly Square will help two ways initially. First, we will donate ten percent (10%) of our net profits to autism related charities and research. We intend to work our tails off to be as successful as possible to raise as much as possible for this cause. However, throwing money at this problem is important but it will not solve it. Once those with special needs reach the age of 22 they “age out” and can no longer go to school. Where they will be placed and what they will do with their time is a major concern to families. Will they have skills to have a job? Will they ever be able to support themselves?
While Woggly Square does not claim to have a cure for this problem, we do know that the majority of brewery work is routine work. Most of the work around the brewery involves cleaning, moving inventory and other similar work. Most with autism are capable of doing this type of repetitive work (and some far more capable!). We intend to provide training and experience to those who have autism in the brewery. We are actively working with local organizations to provide an option for those who have aged-out with vocational programs. Ideally, this will provide some skills and meaning to autistic adults as they advance in life.