Beer

Celebrate a Decade of PorchDrinking at This New Festival

PorchDrinking founder Tristan Chan has experience in events from his days as the marketing manager at Ratio Beerworks.
PorchDrinking founder Tristan Chan has experience in events from his days as the marketing manager at Ratio Beerworks. Ratio Beerworks Instagram
Leading beer industry publication PorchDrinking will celebrate its tenth anniversary in style on Wednesday, October 5, with a beer festival featuring a who's who of local and national breweries. The festival will take place at York Street Yards (3833 Steele Street), just a few businesses down from Cohesion Brewing in north Denver.

PorchDrinking has published nearly 9,000 articles over its first decade, and was founded with a focus on being fun and inclusive in the beer community. "We chose the name PorchDrinking to conjure the feeling of gathering around a porch to talk about music, pop culture, sports, all through the lens of craft beer," says founder Tristan Chan.

Chan's sense of fun and culture has resonated with breweries both near and far, and it shows in the all-star list of attendees coming to the fest. Local breweries like 4 Noses Brewing, Amalgam Brewing, Baere Brewing, Bierstadt Lagerhaus, Burns Family Artisan Ales, Call to Arms Brewing, Cerebral Brewing, Cohesion Brewing Company and many more will be there. Nationally, fest attendees will enjoy the likes of Alesong Brewing and Blending, Highland Park Brewery, Jester King Brewery, Live Oak Brewing Company, Maplewood Brewing, Moksa Brewing, More Brewing, Sante Adarius Rustic Ales and Weathered Souls Brewing Company.

Chan is donating a portion of proceeds from the festival to two causes, as well. The first, Youth on Record, is a Denver-based organization that empowers young people with education, music and community programs, integrating music into their lives by teaching them how to play, write, edit, record and promote music.
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Tristan Chan with Adair Paterno of Sante Adarius Rustic Ales at the Firestone Walker Invitational.
PorchDrinking/Instagram

Chan is also using the festival as an opportunity to partner with Bottleshare to launch PorchDrinking's mental health fund. Bottleshare supports craft beverage industry workers and their families when they experience adversity outside the workplace. Chan has been thinking about the PorchDrinking Mental Health Fund for years, and he's excited to see that dream become a reality. "While we often talk about the positives that come from craft beer, we're also not blind to the multitude of issues that face this industry," Chan notes. "One of the biggest taboo topics has been mental health. Unfortunately, we've seen too many friends succumb to addiction, abuse and, in some cases, suicide, and we couldn't just stand by and allow that to continue."

The PorchDrinking Mental Health Fund plans to create opportunities for craft beer workers to apply for grants and receive free therapy sessions from licensed professionals. PorchDrinking is partnering with Better Help, a tele-health resource for professional therapy, to provide those services. Bottleshare will help manage the fund and facilitate the microgrants.

Chan says that local Czech-style beer specialist Cohesion Brewing was instrumental in helping him land the festival space, and it will host the festival after-party in its taproom. Chan is planning future festivals with Cohesion in 2023 and beyond.

While this is PorchDrinking's first full festival, the company has organized smaller events under its banner. It previously teamed up with creative agency Two Parts to run the New Kids on the Block event, a festival that focused on highlighting breweries two years old and younger. Chan also has experience in planning happenings like the annual Genius Wizard beer, food and immersive event during his time as marketing manager for Ratio Beerworks.

On the website front, Chan mentions that he's currently working with a web development firm to revamp the PorchDrinking site. Once complete, he plans to launch individual state sub-pages, where readers can go to find out about beer events, news, upcoming releases, best breweries by style and more. The focus will be on providing a resource while continuing to grow the reporting and storytelling side of the website.

The events team is another focus of Chan's. "I'm a writer, not a sales expert, so once we find a capable sales team, we're hoping to shift toward a more traditional freelance model, alongside the Mental Health Fund and ultimately becoming a national movement for the craft beer industry," he explains.

He is especially grateful to the many people who have made PorchDrinking what it is today. He started the company ten years ago with sixteen friends. Now, over 400 writers, editors, photographers, videographers, graphic designers and podcasters from all over the world have had a hand in the publication. "We share a passion for beer and its stories," Chan says. " Because of that, I've grown and built so many friendships that have truly helped sustain my own mental health during some of my darkest days. For that, I am forever grateful."

PorchDrinking's 10th Anniversary Beer Festival will take place on Wednesday, October 5, at York Street Yards, 3821 Steele Street. VIP entry is at 5 p.m., general admission is at 6 p.m. and the festival ends at 9 p.m. Find tickets and more details on Eventbrite.
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Ryan Pachmayer is a beer writer living in Arvada. He has written for publications such as Craft Beer & Brewing, Zymurgy, Porch Drinking, Homebrewing DIY and Punch. He is also the head brewer at Yak & Yeti Brewpub, marketing director at New Image Brewing and a BJCP Certified Judge.