Wednesday was supposed to be Colorado Pint Day, an annual tradition during Colorado Craft Beer Week, in which more than 100 breweries around the state sell specially made glasses with their beers as a fundraiser for the Colorado Brewers Guild, the trade organization that supports the state's craft breweries.
Instead, the Guild is scrambling to find ways not just to help breweries suffering dramatic sales declines as a result of the coronavirus-related stay-at-home orders, but to support itself. That's because this week was supposed to also include the now-canceled Collaboration Fest, another huge fundraiser for the nonprofit organization.
"Collaboration Fest and Pint Day are two of our most crucial fundraisers, and they're on hiatus indefinitely," says Guild spokesman Tristan Schmid. As a result, the organization has been working on a couple of other ways to try and raise money, not just for its own budget, but for its member breweries.
One of those begins today, when seven of nine breweries that belong to Guild boardmembers will start selling In This Together Pale Ale, a hoppy, West Coast-style beer that was designed to taste like a throwback to the 1990s, when the Guild, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, was first formed. Originally brewed as the "welcome beer" for Collaboration Fest, the beer was made at Joyride Brewing in Edgewater and features malt from Loveland’s Root Shoot Malting and Fort Collins's Troubadour Malts, with yeast from Inland Island Yeast.
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It is available in sixteen-ounce four-packs at Joyride, 4 Noses Brewing Company in Broomfield, Barrels & Bottles in Golden, Broken Compass Brewing in Breckenridge, and Epic Brewing and Station 26 Brewing in Denver. Periodic Brewing in Northglenn, meanwhile, will be filling Crowlers and growlers of the beer. (The other two boardmember breweries, Horse & Dragon Brewing and Odell Brewing, both in Fort Collins, have closed their taprooms for the duration of the pandemic shutdown.)
One dollar from each four-pack or equivalent will be donated to the CBG.
“Like all of our member breweries, the CBG has been hit hard by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” says CBG board chairman Dave Bergen. As the co-founder of Joyride, he adds that the Guild is doing what it can for members by "opening up distribution channels, helping defer taxes, sending us info on how to apply for certain types of loans, and making sure we aren't breaking the law." The organization also worked with Governor Polis to make it possible for breweries to deliver beer directly to customers during temporary stay-at-home orders.
The CBG also recently released “Colorado Strong” T-shirts as a fundraiser to support its mission.