I hope everyone has survived their Thanksgiving or Harvest holiday meals yesterday, or are pushing through if yours lasts through the weekend! For me, Thanksgiving marks the first day of the holiday season—a period of time at the end of the year for self-reflection, closure of the previous year, spending time with family, and giving a little extra back to the community at large. Taking the time to recognize one’s own little privileges and blessings in life and expressing gratitude can actually go beyond just donating money, toys and food, or volunteering time over the holidays with those in need. In addition to all of those things, did you know you can do a little good just by doing what you do all the time? With that four letter little magical word: b-e-e-r.

Last week, I wrote about New Image Brewing with the premise that they are an ethical, socially conscious small business who contributes to Project Helping year-round. By supporting them, our money and their profits in-turn, help to give back to those in need by helping fund and support Project Helping, an organization to help support mental wellness. This outlook gave me the idea to compile a short list of all the breweries and brewpubs that either give back year-round, or will be doing something a little special for the holiday season in their communities.

  • Jagged Mountain: Jagged Mountain always has an area in the back where you can donate backpacks and supplies which are then donated to the homeless community in need—especially at this time of year, that need grows exponentially. In addition, Jagged Gives is a program in which the brewery partners with various non-profits in the greater Denver area to host events. Check their calendar through the next month, or contact to host an event for your own organization!
  • Denver Beer Co.: Every year, Denver Beer Co. signs a specific non-profit organization to give certain proceeds back to the community for a 12-month period. This year, their official non-profit partnership is with Denver Mountain Parks Foundation—an organization whose mission is to “mission is to restore the historical integrity, relevance, quality and appreciation for the Denver Mountain Parks system.”
  • Great Divide: At Great Divide, sample one of their Taproom Giveback Fights and a portion of the proceeds go back to over 30 local non-profits. Last year alone, this program raised over $95,000 in donations!
  • Tivoli: Tivoli supports several local organizations to help boost the arts and those underprivileged and in need. Recently, the brewery teamed up with The Colorado Fallen Hero Foundation by creating the Fallen Hero Red Ale, and administering proceeds of the beer to help support the families of officers killed in the line of duty.
  • Two22: This Centennial Brewery was built on the premise of mixing charity and beer from its conception. $2.22 of every $10 is given back to The Schuster family Foundation—an organization that works to give grants to various nonprofits. In addition, there is a “Charity of the Month,” when the brewery spotlights a different, specific charity, hosting a once-a-month charity event night with specials to showcase it, and accepting needed donations for that charity all month long. How cool is that? November is spent helping out Kenton Elementary School who needs new or gently used books (ages 3-12). Check back for December’s featured charity!
  • Goldspot: In partnership with Denver’s own Pussy Riot Beers, Goldspot Brewing in the Berkley neighborhood features the Makin Noise series, (now on V.4!), and $1 of every Pussy Riot beer goes to a different charity. This release, Girls Rock Denver is featured—their mission is to “empower girls and gender-nonconforming youth through music education, creation, performance and community, working to put instruments in their hands to unveil what they already possess in their feet, fingertips, vocal cords, hearts and minds.”
  • 10 Barrel: On Tuesday, November 28th 10 Barrel Brewing will host a charity event night to support Bridges to Prosperity. This organization’s goal is to “provide access to healthcare, education and markets by teaching communities how to build footbridges over impassable rivers, in partnership with organizations and professionals. We prove the value of our work through a commitment to the community and its bridge that lasts long after the opening celebration.” Join them there from 5-9pm for the special event!
  • Call to Arms: It seems as though every month, Call to Arms is hosting a special charity event (because they are awesome!). On Saturday, December 16th, the all-day Holiday Rumpus heats up the holiday season. Stay tuned for details on the last Rumpus of the year, which I am sure is to be stock full or music, food, and games as per usual, all with the idea to give back to the community.
  • Trve Brewing: On December 19th, the annual Trve Gives a Shit is happening again! This holiday sweater event auction is always successful and fun and features special edition holiday sweaters by local businesses that, in turn, are given to Urban Peak: an organization that helps Denver’s homeless youth population. In the words of Trve, “Come hang out with us and show Denver that even surly heshers can give a shit.”

So kick back a cold beer with your loved ones this season and do a little extra good for yourselves and for others. It tastes better that way, I promise.

P.S. Denver is a city that likes gives back, so this list is utterly endless and incomplete. Do you have more breweries to add?

Photo by: Colin Murchison


Erica Hoffmeister earned an MFA degree in creative writing and an MA in English from Chapman University of Orange. She has creative work published in the literary journals Shark Reef, Rat’s Ass Review, Split Lip Magazine, and others. She has been teaching for over a decade (claiming 8th grade as her favorite grade level because she’s an actual crazy person) and currently teaches composition and literature courses for Morgan Community College out of Fort Morgan. Always considering herself a bit of a beer nerd, she met her husband at Our Mutual Friend brewery while on vacation and fell in love with him, Denver, and its beer scene in one fatal swoop. While born and raised in Southern California, don’t worry—she’s earned her spurs as a transplant by creating her very own Colorado native. As a new mom, she is currently renegotiating her role as a world-traveling, bar-hopping, beer-loving free spirit by taking advantage of Denver’s beer culture, where you can find as many babies in breweries on any given afternoon as beers on tap.