Craft breweries thrive on their connection to their community, whether they’re a local favorite making a few thousand barrels a year or a national brand that produces a million or more. Read on for just a few of the great things craft breweries are doing to support the causes that all beer fans can get behind.
Jim Koch knows how hard it can be to start a small business in the “risky” food & beverage world. When he founded Samuel Adams in 1984, Koch struggled to secure a traditional bank loan, and now, the entrepreneur and brewer is working to make sure that future small business owners don’t encounter the same issues.
Through the Brewing the American Dream program, Samuel Adams supports local food and beverage entrepreneurs across the U.S. with access to capital, networks and business coaching. Since the program started in 2008, they have coached 11,000 entrepreneurs, distributed $44 million in loans and helped to create or retain 9,000 jobs across 38 states.
Brewing the American Dream recognizes that moms who are pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams need support now more than ever. Fifty recipients from across the United States, who are aspiring or current food and beverage entrepreneurs, will be selected to receive one-on-one mentoring for a year from various functional areas of Samuel Adams and financial and physical resources to assist their everyday needs.
With deep roots in coastal Delaware, Dogfish Head’s philanthropic Beer & Benevolence program is all about giving back to their community through creative collaborations with non-profit organizations who share their ideals.
In 2020, Beer & Benevolence supported 70+ nonprofits with monetary and product donations, contributing $350K+ to the coastal Delaware community. This year, the brewery is taking the program to the next level with a series of beverage-centric initiatives, including a lineup of limited-edition beer releases benefitting local nonprofits, the introduction of a special “Benevolence Beer Tap” at their Rehoboth taproom and the implementation of their “Cocktail for a Cause” program.
“Each year, we work to support our community in every way we can – through events benefitting local charities, like our Dogfish Dash that benefits The Nature Conservancy’s Delaware chapter; our ‘tour team tips,’ through which our tour and Tasting Room team graciously donates all its tips to local nonprofits; Benevolence Day, a day when we close our coastal Delaware properties and all co-workers engage in local volunteer opportunities; and community pledges, like our $50K pledge to the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal Improvement Association’s Grove Park Dock project,” says Dogfish Head co-founder & communitarian Mariah Calagione. “Obviously, 2020 was an unprecedented year, but I’m beyond proud of what our B&B program was able to accomplish, despite a global pandemic, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”
Yuengling has always had a strong connection with the military and first responders, and the brewery has worked to support both communities on national and local levels for many years.
In 2021, Yuengling is working harder than ever to support veterans with the Yuengling Stars & Stripes program. America’s Oldest Brewery collaborated with Team RWB on limited-edition Yuengling Lager camo cans. The cans are emblazoned with a unique desert camouflage print and the Team RWB logo, as part of a continued effort to pay tribute to the men and women who have served our country. This special package will be available for a limited time this summer in 12 oz. 24-pack cans that include a Snapchat code that will allow users to engage with the brewery’s iconic Yuengling Eagle and invites fans to donate to Team RWB.
“As America’s Oldest Brewery, we are forever in awe of the brave and dedicated men and women who have made tremendous sacrifices to protect our country’s freedom, honor, and independence,” said Jennifer Yuengling, Vice President of Operations and sixth generation brewer at D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc. “After working with Team RWB for several years, the launch of the Stars & Stripes program is a great way to grow our partnership with an organization that shares our same commitment to our nation’s military. Our limited-edition Lager cans are a part of our continued commitment to helping Team RWB build onto their invaluable resources and support services for America’s veterans.”
This Philly-native brewery may have “evil” in their name, but Evil Genius is always looking for ways to give back to their community. During the pandemic, the brewery gave away beer to healthcare workers and first responders. They are also vocal supporters of the LGBTQ+ community, producing limited-edition brew #LoveIsLove last June in honor of Pride month.
The brewery has hosted frequent fundraisers over the last few years with their Evil Does Good program, weekly events during which Evil Genius donates one dollar from every beer sold to a different charity. This week’s charity, Salvation of Sorrows, is a mobile barbershop that provides haircuts and other small acts of kindness for those experiencing homelessness in Philadelphia.
2SP Brewing Company is fiercely proud of their home county of Delco, and the brewery is always finding creative ways to give back to their community. From discounted taproom pours for healthcare workers to Girl Scout cookie pairing extravaganzas, 2SP loves to have fun while doing good — especially if they can bring their furry friends along! The brewery regularly hosts adoption events and fundraisers with local animal shelters and rescue organizations, including Philly Bully Team and Forgotten Cats.