Summit Suds: Grab a pint to party for the planet |

Summit Suds: Grab a pint to party for the planet

Rather than release a collaborative brew, High Country Conservation Center’s Party for the Planet asks people to do a self-guided tour of breweries to raise money through the month of March. Five breweries have a designated beer that gives $1 per pint to the nonprofit, such as Highside Brewery’s Frisco Gold.
Photo by Elaine Collins

High Country Conservation Center’s annual Party for the Planet fundraiser looked a little different this year. It went virtual due to the pandemic, like countless other gatherings, yet the format was a success as people from outside of Summit County could celebrate.

So far, $68,000 has been raised for the nonprofit thanks in part to a silent auction of items such as vacation packages and ski passes. More is expected to come in from partner breweries assisting with donating beer proceeds to the nonprofit.

Last year, Angry James Brewing Co., Breckenridge Brewery & Pub, Dillon Dam Brewery, Highside Brewing and Pug Ryan’s Brewery made a milkshake India pale ale called Green Machine, with money from sales going toward the center. This year, a collaboration like that wasn’t possible, so breweries are highlighting one beer each to benefit the organization throughout the month of March.

Five of the county’s eight breweries are participating in this year’s fundraiser: Outer Range Brewing Co., The Bakers’ Brewery, Angry James, Highside and Pug Ryan’s.

The best part of the pseudo pub crawl is that there’s a variety of choices for different tastes, and no one beer is better than the other. It’s also the perfect excuse to order something you usually wouldn’t and expand your palate.

Angry James Brewing Co.’s Jake’s Pils

This German-style Pilsner is made with traditional lager yeast and aromatic noble hops like Hallertau, Tettnang and German Perle. The best-seller is 4.8% alcohol by volume and is refreshing like well-balanced Pilsners should be.

The Bakers’ Brewery’s Winter is Coming

Cory Forster loves his saisons, especially the imperial dark version he brews each year. Sip it slower than the other offerings since it comes in at a hefty 7.7% ABV.

The extra time with the glass means more chances to detect the layered flavors of spicy chai tea, vanilla, caramel and fruits like cherry and apple.

Outer Range Brewing Co.’s Blocks of Light

I’ve written about this New England-style IPA a lot in the past, so this time around I’ll spare the proselytizing. Passion fruit, mango and other tropical flavors are present in this 6.2% ABV beer thanks to Galaxy and Mosaic hops.

Pug Ryan’s Brewery’s Deadwood Dunkel

At 6% ABV, this traditional Munich brown lager is a crowd-pleaser. The smooth, malty flavors of caramel and toffee helped win it a bronze medal for the style at the 2017 Great American Beer Festival.

HighSide Brewing’s Frisco Gold

The only beer I didn’t have before the event was this 5.2% golden ale. It starts with sweet notes of honey and finishes with a hoppy and lemon-tart bite for balance.

Party for the Planet is also an opportunity for High Country Conservation Center to award community members for doing their part in helping the environment. The Tim McClure Individual Achievement Award was given to Sha Miklas, Summit Roll-Offs was named Sustainable Business Champion, and Holly Blando was recognized as Outstanding Sustainability Volunteer.

Want to support the conservation center but don’t want to drink alcohol to do so? Donations can be made at

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