Brewers have become a big part of their local social fabric and often use their products to do right by their communities.
Some of these are ongoing exchanges, like the Dos Californias Brewsters project, a cross-border collaboration between female brewers in Mexico and California; all proceeds from beers produced under the label fund scholarships for women in partnership with the Institute of Technology in Tijuana.
The Pink Boots Society is a national nonprofit group that promotes collaborative beers regularly, with profits going to sponsor scholarships and programming.
These five beers and programs below offer a taste of partnerships for good.
El Lagarto Ale
Yazoo Brewing Company
In 2017, this Nashville brewery teamed up with musician Elizabeth Cook to brew this beer to benefit the Music Health Alliance, a nonprofit that provides musicians with health insurance, healthcare resources and more.
The wheat beer, spiced with coriander, orange and lemon peel, and finished with sea salt, has been produced ever since. It’s released every “Heal the Music Day,” which the alliance celebrates each October.
This brewery is synonymous with San Francisco and involved in a number of area causes. To produce this beer, Anchor partnered with local nonprofit San Francisco Baykeeper, which patrols the waterway to stop polluters.
The patrol boat is featured on the label, and Anchor says that a portion of sales will help fund the group’s efforts. It incorporates local malts for an assertive yet soft ale that’s hop forward and offers aromas of papaya, orange zest and lime.
Fargo Original Lager
Fargo Brewing Company
If craft beer was once seen as the industry’s underdog, it only makes sense that some brewers would want to help actual dogs. Fargo Brewing has put photos of pups from a local shelter on cans of its Original Lager to help promote pet adoption.
Many breweries like Fargo are pet-friendly spots, so this pairing is only natural.
King Of Cascadia Porter
Pike Brewing Company
Brewers are passionate about clean water. After all, without it, there’s no life on this planet, let alone beer.
In Seattle, Pike Brewing collaborated with co-op PCC Community Markets in support of a mutual nonprofit partner called Long Live the Kings, an environmental group that works to save salmon habitats. The result is this porter, which actually pairs nicely with the fish.
Ales for ALS
In 2013, Cheryl Hanses Smith and her husband, Mike Smith, a fourth-generation hop farmer, created a program that provides a special hop blend to brewers across the country, all for a good cause. Proceeds from beer sales made with this blend benefit a nonprofit biotech firm that works to cure Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The hop blend is created and donated by Smith’s Loftus Ranches and YCH Hops, and it’s sent to more than 200 brewers around the world. For each pint sold, $1 is donated to ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI). Nearly $3 million has been collected to date, and the family has a goal to include 300 breweries in all 50 states.