PITTSFORD, N.Y. (WROC) — It was a simple offer: “Black or white, relax and have a beer.” Best friends Benjamin Smith and Marcus Ellis set up in their driveway hoping people would stop by. Turns out, they were in for so much more than that: a digital visit from country music star Brad Paisley.
Their simple message, and a powerful image of a white man and a black man clinking bottles and sharing a beer, spread like wildfire on social media. Thousands and thousands of reactions and shares across the entire country later:
“It’s insane,” Smith exclaimed. “It’s such a cool feeling that we’re making such a big impact across the community, and what seems to be across the U.S.”
And as Batman to his Robin: “It’s awesome,” Ellis echoed. “It feels so great.”
As soon as he found out about the news, country singer Brad Paisley mobilized his entire fanbase, and the friends received message after message asking about Paisley.
The Zoom call came in at 7 p.m. on Saturday, shocking the best friends.
“Man, I am so thrilled to meet you, face to face like this,” Paisley said. “I’m so inspired by you, and we thought we should deliver more beer than you could possibly drink… This is going to be a popular destination on this street.”
Hundreds of dollars worth of beer shipped directly to their house just hours before the Zoom call. Paisley bought out all of AJ’s Beer Warehouse in Henrietta. The megastar even hung around like it was a block party for the next half hour.
“Love and alcohol. Those two things just go together,” Paisley quipped.
Beer and camaraderie might be soothing salves in this time, but Paisley and the two friends never forgot the true heart of the message.
“I’m trying to hear out my friends in the black community. That’s what you guys are ding together, the same thing,” Paisley said.
“I’m all ears, always have been, I’ve had big ears my whole life,” Paisley joked.
“It means the world, from space and back, it means a lot,” Ellis said.
“Through the rioting and protests, I felt like I was being torn apart, and it was rough,” Smith said, barely holding back tears. “And this is what builds it back up.”
The timing couldn’t be better for Paisley, who just released a new song called “No ‘I’ In Beer,” and partnered with Bud Light—the beer Smith and Ellis were sharing—to release a limited edition beer to that reads “Bud Lght” on the label.
He even treated his small but fervent audience to a live take of “There’s No ‘I’ In Beer.”
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