Left to Right, Erin Merrill, Kristina Cannon, Sam Hight, Jennifer Grenier, Gail Gibson, Ken Lexier Submitted photo

FARMINGTON — The Hight family of dealerships celebrated their 110 year anniversary in a unique way, brewing a beer with Bigelow Brewing in Skowhegan. In August, the two Skowhegan-based businesses announced their one-of-a-kind beer collaboration, “Hight’s Tin Can Sailor,” with the Hights pledging to donate $1 for each can sold to local charities in honor of the late S. Kirby Hight.

The first batch of Hight’s Tin Can Sailor, which features a photo of S. Kirby Hight on the label and named to honor his legacy as a war hero and business icon, sold out within four days. The first batch yielded 55 cases, or 1320 cans—giving $1320 to Skowhegan Free Public Library, a charity that Kirby and his wife Grace were incredibly supportive and proud of. With the success of the first batch of beer, Sam Hight, Dealer Principal at Hight Ford, and Jeff Powers, owner of Bigelow Brewing, set out to more than double the production of Hight’s Tin Can Sailor and reached out to area businesses and restaurants to make the beer widely available throughout central and western Maine.

“The first batch was for fun—a homage to my grandfather and a celebration of 110 years of business. Thanks to Jeff and his Bigelow crew, they made an incredible beer that was well received—with locals, patrons, and Hight friends asking for more.

Jeff was willing to brew an entire 18 barrel batch that has put a great beer for great causes in the hands of thousands of Mainers,” said Hight.

The second batch of an additional 166 cases, or 4000 cans, added a $4,000 donation to four local charities. The Skowhegan Food Cupboard received $1000, board chair, Jennifer Grenier stated that, “These funds will go a long ways and will help provide food for many families that struggle with food insecurity. We wouldn’t be able to do what we do on an ongoing basis without assistance from businesses like the Hight Family and are just truly humbled to see the support they give to so many wonderful organizations!”

Jeff Powers, Bigelow Brewing and Sam Hight, Hight Family of Dealerships

Left to Right, Erin Merrill, Kristina Cannon, Sam Hight, Jennifer Grenier, Gail Gibson, Ken Lexier

In addition, Skowhegan Rotary and Main Street Skowhegan both received $1000. “The Hight Family of Dealerships has been a steadfast supporter of our community and of Main Street Skowhegan for many years, and we can’t thank them enough for all that they do. We were thrilled to get the news that Sam and his family were donating a portion of proceeds from Tin Can Sailor to our organization. The Hight/Bigelow partnership and tribute to Kirb make this beer special — it’s a great example of community collaboration in Skowhegan, and we’re excited to be a part of it,” stated Kristina Cannon of Main Street Skowhegan.

The Skowhegan Rotary Club echoed the sentiments of Cannon, “As a long time member of the Skowhegan Rotary Club, I was especially pleased to accept the donation from the proceeds of the Hight Family of Dealerships’ Tin Can Sailor project. The image of my friend, Kirby Hight, on the container reminds me of the many years that Kirb was a member of our Skowhegan Rotary Club and of the many worthwhile community projects in which he took part. Kirby cared greatly about his community and this donation is another example of how there are so many individuals looking out for one another in our area, “said Rotary President, Gail Gibson.

Lastly a $1,000 donation to Educare Skowhegan helped to kick off the work for the new Skowhegan early childhood education facility. “Educare is thrilled to have Hight Family of Dealerships as a partner in supporting early childhood education in the Skowhegan community. When businesses support children and families in the community, everyone wins; children receive quality care, parents can go to work knowing their children are safe and learning and employers have employees that are driven and focused,” said Erin Merrill Director of Development for Educare Central Maine.

Hight’s Tin Can Sailor is available at 30 different locations from Oquossoc to Portland both on tap at restaurants, retail locations, and of course on tap at Bigelow Brewing in Skowhegan. It was truly a one-of-a-kind project, receiving recognition from the National Automobile Dealers Association Automotive

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