Beer brings people together, and New Belgium coworkers love coming together to drink good beer. We also love coming together to support good causes. We’ve been known to combine the two through philanthropic beer-enjoyment events like Tour de Fat and the Clips Beer and Film Tour, but it just so happens that we also enjoy supporting good causes without a pint in hand. This may or may not stem from the fact that Kim (our CEO and co-founder) comes from a social work background and instilled a spirit in us that the greatest gift we can give is our own time. To illustrate this warm, fuzzy concept, let’s shine a spotlight on the New Belgium Beer Scouts.
The Beer Scouts are a group of coworkers who sponsor volunteer events for our coworkers and community members to engage in as a means to give back and to inspire positive change. The Scouts work tirelessly to find great causes to support each year that are aligned with New Belgium’s values. The group was formed a few years back as a means to help connect busy people with causes they might be passionate about, and have helped to log over 7,800 volunteer hours of coworker time in the past three years alone. Here’s a quick run-down of some 2013 Beer Scouts-sponsored events:
- On the second Tuesday of every month, we spread the love by preparing and serving lunch to community members at The Mission. The Mission provides a warm bed, hot meal and a community atmosphere to people regardless of age, faith, race or social status, and happens to be the brewery’s neighbor right across the street.
- Because homelessness tops the list of the most pressing issues in Larimer County, this year we participated in Project Homeless Connect. This one-day event provides those experiencing homelessness with access to vital services such as rapid re-housing, basic medical exams and legal advice. It’s a one-stop shop for assistance that helps families stop struggling and paves the way for their success. This event began in 2009 and continues to serve a vital need in Fort Collins.
- Since we have a number of field-based coworkers who do not live and work here in Fort Collins, we like to plan events each year for them to engage in when they are visiting us. In 2013, we went to the Food Bank to assemble meals for kids and sort food for families and nonprofits that feed those in need.
- For the past few years, we have participated in Sears Trostel’s annual Bread N Boards fundraiser for the Food Bank for Larimer County. Every year, the specialty lumber store produces hundreds of bread boards that it sells in December to benefit the Food Bank for Larimer County. We participate by screen printing tea towels that are sold with the bread boards. In 2013 we helped raise over $27,000 for the Food Bank through this event!
- Last but not least, the House That Beer Built is a true testament to the awesomeness of the craft brewing community in Fort Collins. In 2013, eight Fort Collins craft brewers — Black Bottle Brewery, C.B. & Potts Restaurant & Brewery, Coopersmith’s Pub & Brewing, Equinox Brewing, Fort Collins Brewery, Odell Brewing, Pateros Creek Brewing and New Belgium Brewing — came together with Habitat for Humanity to raise funds and build a house for the Andrasik family after losing their home in the High Park Fire of 2012. New Belgium coworkers participated in two fun workdays crafting a home and hope! The final push is on to reach our $100,000 fundraising goal.
In addition to these NBB-planned events, the Scouts encourage us all to find causes that we’re passionate about to dedicate the precious gift of time to on our own, and they reward us with paid time off for our efforts (1 hour of PTO for every 2 hours of volunteer work, not a bad deal). All told, New Belgium coworkers volunteered over 2,500 hours in 2013. That’s like having 1.25 full-time employees dedicated to volunteering. If you’re feeling inspired to roll up your sleeves and find an opportunity to give back in your neck of the woods, there’s plenty of ways to get involved. A couple websites to get you started are volunteer.gov and volunteermatch.org. Now go forth and support good causes (and drink good beer)!