The Bootlegger’s Society, the local consortium of Durango’s four craft brewers, has established the Durango Bootlegger’s Society Fund under the auspices of the Community Foundation of Southwest Colorado.
The affiliation with the Community Foundation will allow the breweries to collectively donate funds to non-profits as well as organize fundraising events and obtain a liquor license (needed for beer-related events) through the Foundation. Independent donations made directly to the Bootlegger’s Fund will also be tax-deductible.
“This is a unique situation that helps to cement our philanthropic footprint in Southwest Colorado,” said Dave Thibodeau, chairman of the Bootlegger’s new fund advisory board and co-founder of Ska Brewing Co. “I feel it can become a model for other small breweries/businesses to emulate in other communities across the country.”
Ska, Steamworks Brewing Co., Carver Brewing Co. and Durango Brewing Co. originally came together as the Bootlegger’s Society with a mission to raise the awareness and understanding of craft beer by rallying around the needs of the community.
“Our first event was the ‘Pint for Pint’ blood drive back in 2003,” said Brian McEachron, co-founder of Steamworks. “Blood was running short and workers were having little success securing donations. It didn’t take long for us to conspire and decide a little friendly competition might help raise awareness. We all asked our patrons to donate a pint blood and, in return, we offered them a pint of beer at their brewery of choice.”
The “Pint for Pint” blood drive has since emerged as a “best practice” and been modeled by blood services organizations throughout the country, according to McEachron.
The Bootlegger’s Society Fund was established with an initial $1,000 generated from the Spring Tonic event held at Carver’s. Upcoming events designed to help increase the fund include Oktoberfest, Ska’s 15th Anniversary Celebration and all four “Evenings on 8th” events held each Wednesday in September, 4-8 p.m. in Downtown Durango.
“Collectively we’ve always had a desire to help out the people of our communities who have always supported us,” said Thibodeau. “Establishing the Bootlegger’s Society Fund will make it that much easier for us to do so.”
For further information regarding the Community Foundation of Southwest Colorado, or to contribute to the Bootlegger’s Society Fund on-line, visit http://www.swcommunityfoundation.org/.