Eight Beers That Benefit Charity | Wine Enthusiast
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Eight Beers That Benefit Charity

Craft brewers pride themselves on being good corporate neighbors. They make thousands of beers for charitable causes each year and contribute significant money to their communities. Many participate in nationwide fundraisers like Pints for Prostates or Ales for ALS, while hundreds more donate to local philanthropies. Here are some to support.

A can of Resilience IPA on a metal table
Photo courtesy of Sierra Nevada

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Resilience Butte County Proud IPA

Headquartered in Chico, California, just miles from the region’s most recent wildfire, Sierra Nevada has spearheaded a nationwide fundraising effort for victims. More than 1,400 American breweries and industry partners have pledged to brew and support draught versions of Resilience IPA. The company says that all proceeds from sales will be donated to the Camp Fire Relief Fund, which the brewery established to provide long-term assistance to impacted communities. There were some early renditions of Resilience in some markets, but the limited-edition beer officially launched on December 20.

Three beer bottles and a beer in a glass in the foreground
Firestone Walker’s Lil’ Relief / Photo by Oak and Barrel

Firestone Walker Brewing Company
Lil’ Relief and Helus Lager

According to Firestone Walker, 100% of Lil’ Relief will benefit victims of California’s Camp and Woolsey wildfires in Butte, Ventura and Los Angeles counties. The limited-edition saison bottling aged in white wine barrels for 36 months (a part of Firestone Walker’s Barrelworks wood-fermenting and aging program) and was released on December 22.

In addition to Lil’ Relief, the company says that sales of its Helus Lager will help the official crowdfunding campaign to aid the family of Ron Helus, a Ventura County sheriff sergeant killed in the November mass shooting at a Thousand Oaks bar. Both beers are available at Firestone Walker’s California taprooms in Paso Robles, Buellton and Venice.

Man and woman surrounded by beer bottling equiment
Amy and Aron Levin of St. Florian’s / Photo by Julie Hughes

St. Florian’s Brewery
48/96 Session Ale

The Windsor, California-based brewer states that it donates at least 5% from sales of its beers, including 48/96, to groups that work with firefighters and first responders. Not only is St. Florian Brewery named for the patron saint of firefighters, its co-founder and chief operating officer, Aron Levin, is a Sonoma County fire captain. The name 48/96 refers to a typical firefighter’s schedule, which represents 48 hours on duty, followed by four days of recovery. “I thought 48/96 would be ironic for the story, as most California firefighters have worked for weeks straight, as opposed to their traditional shifts,” says Amy Levin, St. Florian co-founder and CEO.

Four photo collage of taps, beer, a beer can and Sonoma Springs' tasting room sign
Sonoma Springs Sottile Red / Photos by Nate Woodward

Sonoma Springs Brewing
Sottile Red Ale

Each November, Sonoma County firefighters help make this beer alongside brewers from Sonoma Springs, which almost lost its own facility four years ago to a fire just before opening day. Brewery partner Derek Drennan says that 10% of Sottile sales benefit the Sonoma Volunteer Firefighters Association. “This year, we did the release party despite it being pretty smoky outside [from the Camp Fire 160 miles away],” says Drennan. “Last year, [victims of the 2017 Sonoma County fires] showed up with thank-you cards and T-shirts.”

Dark beer in a chalice on a wooden table outside
Thirsty Monk’s Winter Karma Monk’s Cottage Beer / Photo by Erin Hamrick Radcraft

Thirsty Monk
Winter Karma Monk’s Cottage

This beer represents Thirsty Monk’s second entry in its Karma Series, which is designed to assist a new cause each season. The brewer states that currently $1 from each 12-ounce sale of the Belgian dark strong ale supports affordable housing initiatives in the cities where it has taprooms: Denver; Asheville, North Carolina; and Portland, Oregon. In addition, the Portland location still offers Fall Karma Trail Monk Belgian IPA, with proceeds to go to maintaining nature trails and national parks in the respective cities, the company states.

Three beer cans with a very 70s design
Double Nickel’s Friends Giving / Photo courtesy of Double Nickel

Double Nickel Brewing Co.
Friends Giving Potluck IPA

The Pennsauken, New Jersey-based company brewed its Friends Giving collaboration with Philadelphia’s Urban Village Brewing and two South Jersey compatriots, Tonewood Brewing and Cape May Brewing. Double Nickel says $40,000 in cash along with a $35,000 donation from Philadephia-based Dietz & Watson deli will raise the total gift to Pennsylvania and New Jersey anti-hunger charities to $75,000. The hazy IPA, nicknamed a “potluck IPA” since each brewery kept their hop variety secret until brew day, is still sold around Philly and the Garden State. The project has inspired Double Nickel to launch a year-round charity campaign called Collabor-Aid that will partner other local purveyors to raise money via philanthropic events.

Woods Boss Brewing
Riparian Conservation

Since January 2017, Bess Dougherty, head brewer at The Grateful Gnome Sandwich Shoppe and Brewery, and Kelissa Hieber, the co-owner/head brewer at Goldspot Brewing, both in Denver, have teamed up with different Colorado breweries every season to make a new version of Makin’ Noise beer. Each version aids different local causes selected by the breweries involved and retail partners. This month, Denver’s Woods Boss is serving a brut IPA and says it will donate $1 per pour to the Colorado Water Trust. In two years, the Makin’ Noise project has raised more than $43,000 for more than 30 nonprofits.

A can of Headwaters beer in a creek
Photo courtesy of Victory Brewing Co.

Victory Brewing Company
Headwaters Pale Ale

From its debut in 2011 through the end of 2017, Victory states it has donated more than $67,000 from sales of Headwaters to protect the source of its brewing water and other suburban Philadelphia watersheds. Victory draws water from the Brandywine Creek for its original brewery in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, and its second production facility in nearby Parkesburg. Headwaters is available year-round in 34 states, Washington, D.C. and in Japan, Sweden, United Kingdom, Australia and the Cayman Islands.

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