Outdoor Retailer

6 Colorado breweries supporting the outdoors

When you’re popping tops at Outdoor Retailer, reach for these local brews for a purpose.

The outdoors and beer are a perfect pair, as we’ve seen with the success of outdoor shops with taps and the abundance of stellar gear made for taking beer along on adventures.

It’s not just the outdoor industry that adores beer. The feeling is so very mutual, and breweries are showing their love to the environment and the outdoors in many ways. Whether it’s preserving land or encouraging kids to get outside, these Colorado breweries are doing great things. If you’re reaching for a beer after a long day at Outdoor Retailer, opt for these.

6 Colorado breweries doing good for the outdoors

Oskar Blues Brewery


Oskar Blues Brewery’s Can’d Aid Foundation is constantly focused on getting people outdoors in a variety of ways. They have donated more than 2,000 bikes to low-income children around the U.S., helped kids at underfunded schools learn how to climb and give students a chance to do it, and hosted trail building days. The Longmont-based brewery is also regularly doing river restoration and float projects, cleaning up beaches and rivers, restoring public trails, and has so far planted more than 10,000 trees.

Beer to Try: G’Knight Imperial Red IPA. The beer shares a name with the brewery’s annual G’Knight Ride in Longmont, which along with Bicycle Longmont, helps educate cyclists on how to be safe and encourages more kids and adults to start biking.

Elevation Beer Company.


Through their membership with The Conservation Alliance, Elevation Beer Co. commits a portion of annual revenue to the protection of public lands. and access to them. “Chaffee County, where we are located is over 77% public land, making this an issue that literally hits close to home,” says Andy Astor, Keg Orator. In addition to TCA membership, they also regularly participate in local trail cleanups with area bike shops and climbing groups and donate to numerous outdoor organizations including: Chaffee County Search and Rescue, Colorado Avalanche Information Center, Summit County Search and Rescue, Crested Butte Avalanche Info Center, Trout Unlimited, and Friends of Browns Canyon.

Beer to Try: Little Mo’, a robust porter named after one of the brewer’s favorite ski runs at Monarch Mountain

Upslope Brewing Company


Upslope Brewing has created partnerships over the years with Leave No Trace, the Ouray Ice Park, Big Mountain Enduro Series, the Grand Traverse, Colorado’s Cosmic Ski Mountaineering Cup, and more. Through a partnership with Trout Unlimited, the Boulder-based brewery donates 1 percent of all Craft Lager sales to river conservation, dubbed “1% for Rivers.” Upslope also regularly hosts events that benefit outdoor nonprofits, such as the recent Get Down music festival, where proceeds were donated to Protect Our Winters. At last year’s Backcountry Tap Room event (where the brewery creates a makeshift taproom along a trail), 100 percent of proceeds were donated to Leave No Trace for Outdoor Ethics.

Beer to Try: Craft Lager is a snowmelt-infused, light-bodied lager that benefits North America’s rivers.

Avery Brewing Co.


Avery Brewing partners with numerous outdoor organizations, such as Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, American Mountaineering Museum, and Adaptive Adventures. At their most recent festival, the brewery helped raise awareness for and donated all proceeds to the Colorado Water Trust, whose mission is to protect Colorado’s rivers. To promote individuals to get outside more, they host a weekly group fun run, in which participants are awarded with free beer afterwards.

Beer to Try: Go Play IPA is brewed with sodium and potassium (found in sports drinks) that pairs well with any outdoor activity.

New Belgium Brewing


Over the course of this year, New Belgium will donate more than $900,000 to environmental and bicycle advocacy. “The bicycle is near and dear to our hearts,” says Sustainability Specialist Sarah Fraser. The bike-themed brewery funds projects that break down barriers and support riders. Employees are also encouraged to volunteer their time to a variety of outdoor organizations, including Mountain Hut Association, The Nature Conservancy, and Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado

Beer to Try: Dayblazer Easygoing Ale is a refreshing golden ale ideal for your post-hike brew.

14er Brewing


Two Colorado natives opened 14er Brewing in Denver to create drinkable beer that didn’t slow drinkers down on adventures. One percent of all sales are donated to Colorado Fourteener Initiative (CFI), a non-profit dedicated to protecting and preserving the natural integrity of the state’s 14,000-foot peaks through education and stewardship. The brewery also advocates conservation by promoting volunteer opportunities and hosting outdoor and adventure film night that also benefit the CFI. 

Try this beer: The Rocky Mountain Saison is brewed with cilantro and lime and took home the gold at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival.

Know of other breweries doing good for the outdoors? Let us know on Facebook.