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When Gary “Ice Cold 3000” Morgan—a member of Oakland’s globally recognized dance crew, TurfFeinz—was growing up, he would attend the Boys and Girls Club on 85th and E.14th in East Oakland.
There, he met Stick, an OG community mentor who looked out for Morgan and his friends, encouraging the young men to use the basketball gym and dance room despite not being members. For years, Morgan jokingly told Stick that he would one day donate money to the Club so that other young Oaklanders could benefit from it, too.
Over a decade later, Morgan is keeping his word by hosting a one-of-a-kind event: Turf Skate Brewski. Not only will the evening feature a special-edition beer release from Ale Industries, but the TurfFeinz are also throwing a turf battle featuring dancers and roller skaters. Each turf dancer will pair up with a skater in a team-elimination style dance-off—something Morgan says has never been done. It’s a function that Morgan and his crew hope will merge Bay Area communities that don’t often overlap: turfers, roller skaters and beer drinkers.
A portion of the proceeds from the beer sales will go to the East Oakland chapter of the Boys and Girls Club, which Morgan says is in honor of Stick and other positive influences who looked out for him and his crew while they were coming up. Additional donations can be made at the event with a QR code, and will go towards TurfFeinz building a dance studio in their community—though they are only in the planning stages of this concept.
“We are a part of this community so we’re looking out for each other and merging different groups together,” says Morgan. “We just want people to come to the space to dance and enjoy themselves. Stick always made sure we stayed positive, so this is something we can do for him.”
The beer—appropriately titled “Town Feinz”—is a crisp Kolsch with 5.10 percent ABV (as a tribute to the 510 area code). It’s a typical release for Ale Industries, which continually puts out beers that represent Oakland’s cultural fabrics. Specifically, the brewery’s Town Beer Collaboration Project partners with local orgs and businesses including Oakland’s professional soccer team, Roots SC, LGBT nonprofit Town Pride and even the Oakland Zoo.
“We are a small brewery, but we had one clear goal for a concept of Oakland at the front and center,” says Jonathan Acosta Rosales, the brewery’s director of marketing and distribution. “We wanted to do a limited edition label for specific organizations. We felt like we could do more in telling the stories with the labels, social media and elevating their platform.”
Ale Industries’ involvement with TurfFeinz is monumental, since the dance group has been at the forefront of turfing for decades. The group has been immortalized in murals around Oakland and regularly appears in music videos for rappers, most recently with LA’s YG, as well as local favorites like ALLBLACK and G-Eazy. The dance form is unique to the East Bay and, with the help of TurfFeinz, has gone on to represent Northern California culture in international competitions and popular media such as Fortnite.
This Saturday night won’t just be about an ice-cold beer drop. It’ll equally be about Ice Cold 3000 and fellow TurfFeinz crew members—
“It felt like an interesting idea to explore,” Morgan explains. “It’s gonna be a new thing for everybody, including us. This is the first time these three categories are coming together. We’re willing to take that risk.”
When it comes to originality and innovation, leave it up to these Bay Area favorites to brew up dance moves and beer notes that are truly expressive.
“It’s about elevating the presence of these Oakland legends in our community and aiding their goal to have a band studio for kids who don’t have an outlet to be creative,” Acosta Rosales adds. “Hopefully this helps them and helps us. Like the TurfFeinz say, ‘I shine, you shine, we shine together.’”
Turf Skate Brewski is happening at Ale Industries (3096 E 10th St, Oakland) on Saturday, Sept. 13, from 4–7pm. Free.