Summit County breweries donate sales to charities

Dr. Marc Doucette, an emergency room physician, selects a four-pack of beer supplied by Broken Compass Brewing to medical staff at St. Anthony Summit Medical Center in Frisco on Tuesday, April 28. Jason Ford, owner of the Breckenridge-based brewery, created the Beer it Forward program, which allows customers to purchase beer for medical staff as a sign of appreciation for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.
Jason Connolly /

FRISCO — Recognizing the need to support one another during the coronavirus pandemic, Broken Compass Brewing, Outer Range Brewing Co. and Breckenridge Brewery have all recently started efforts to raise funds for charity.

Along with donating 10% of all beer sales to help suicide prevention efforts in Summit County, Broken Compass started an initiative called Beer it Forward where someone can buy a four-pack of canned beer to give to an employee of St. Anthony Summit Medical Center. Additionally, $1 of each Beer it Forward sale goes to the hospital foundation’s Emergency Preparedness Fund. The program has raised just under $100 so far.

“Everybody likes a nice beer after a hard day at work, so it allows them to directly give something to the people that are part of the front lines,” Broken Compass owner Jason Ford said.

According to Philanthropy Officer Candy Elkind, the money will be used to help the hospital purchase personal protective equipment such as masks and face shields as well as more expensive, reusable items like powered air-purifying respirators. The respirators cost about $1,200 and have a portable ventilator pack and use HEPA filters.

The fund helps patients, too, by picking up the bill on gear they might need once leaving the hospital, including oxygen concentrators, thermometers and pulse oximeters.

Beer it Forward has since expanded beyond front-line workers, allowing customers to buy a beer for a fellow patron, similar to a program that Angry James Brewing Co. started Friday, April 24. Angry James also announced that, due to an anonymous donation, anyone who shows a fire department, police, EMS, paramedic or Summit County medical center ID can receive a free four-pack with any purchase once per week.

Ford is on the advisory committee for Left Hand Brewing Foundation’s Colorado Strong Fund, as well. Broken Compass and other participating breweries like Pug Ryan’s Brewery will receive free ingredients to brew a pale ale with 20% of sales going to help workers impacted by COVID-19.

Another charitable collaboration was started by Other Half Brewing Co. from Brooklyn, New York, where breweries across the world use basically the same label and recipe — save for some personal touches — to raise funds for various charities. Last week, Outer Range released its take on the India pale ale called All Together. The Frisco brewery opted for the hazy, New England style of the recipe made with Mosaic, Citra, Simcoe and Cascade hops, and left it untouched. 

Frisco’s Outer Range Brewing Co. has released a pale all called All Together. Part of a worldwide collaboration started by Other Half Brewing Co., the local beer supports the Colorado Bartenders Guild’s Colorado Family Meal program.
Courtesy Outer Range Brewing Co.

All profits from this local version of All Together go toward the Colorado Bartenders Guild’s Colorado Family Meal program. The new initiative has Hearth & Dram chefs Adam Vero and Jeff Hickman create meals twice a week for Denver-based hospitality workers.

“We usually distribute kegs to a bunch of bars every weekend, so we have a lot of close relationships with bars and restaurants,” Outer Range co-owner and Head Brewer Lee Cleghorn said about picking that charity. “We’ve seen firsthand what they’re all going through, and it’s heartbreaking.”

Chad George, treasurer with Colorado Bartenders Guild, said that the program has received roughly $20,000 in monetary donations — along with food donated by suppliers — since starting in March and makes about 2,000 meals a week. One $10 donation can help fund about three meals.

Breckenridge Brewery has likewise cooked up meals for locals, yet its main focus is donating $1 per crowler sale to the Family & Intercultural Resource Center.

“We’ve done a lot of fundraising with them in the past, and I think they have so many great programs that they run simultaneously,” said Breckenridge Brewery Head Brewer Jimmy Walker, who estimates they raised a couple hundred dollars so far. Walker said staff is also pooling together its tips to donate to the resource center. 

This week, the Breckenridge location is joining its Littleton sibling in offering the Howler Crowler. Named after the statewide 8 p.m. howl to salute health care workers, 100% of the profits of the special 32-ounce crowler are donated to Project CURE. Founded in 1987, the nonprofit gives medical supplies to hospitals in need.

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