Food & Drinks

Shopping For A Feel-Good Buzz This Holiday Season? Here Are Ten Beverage Brands That Give Back

Want your holiday spending dollars to go further this year? Consider buying your beer, wine, spirits and other beverages from companies that contribute to community. Here are a few that turn your purchases directly into unique or interesting philanthropic endeavors. 

BEER

Can’d Aid

Backers of the foundation run by Canarchy, the company that brings you brands like Oskar Blues and Cigar City, are matching donations up to a total of approximately $10,000 on Giving Tuesday. Donate any amount of money for causes that provide tools “for healthy, creative and active outlets at a time when youth need it most” or click to contribute to specific initiatives like those that provide musical instruments or bikes to kids in need. Additionally, now through Christmas Day, the Journeys specialty footwear chain is ringing up donations at its registers and matching up to $500,000.

Lawson’s Finest Liquids

For a small brewery in Vermont, Lawson’s donates an astonishing amount of money to charity. Through its Sip of Support social impact program, wife-and-husband owners Karen and Sean Lawson will give $78,000 to 32 nonprofit organizations in the state on Giving Tuesday. This adds to the $1 million the program has raised since 2018. 

The brewery says recipients of this year’s Giving Tuesday donations prioritize “healthy communities, food and economic security, natural resource protection and sustainable recreation.”

“This year has been challenging for many to fundraise, so we are delighted to provide this financial assistance through our Sip of Support initiative to sustain and enhance the work of these organizations,” says Karen Lawson.

Stella Artois

As part of its clean drinking water campaign, the Belgian brewery is donating funds to provide safe drinking water to people in developing countries. Working with Matt Damon’s Water.org, Stella will subsidize one month of water to one person per purchase of any product, and every purchase of the branded water.org chalice translates to a minimum of five years of water to a person who lacks access.

WINE

Ehlers Estate

Originally founded in 1886, the Napa Valley winery is owned by the Leducq Foundation, a trust that works to combat cardiovascular disease and stroke. As such, proceeds from tasting fees and sales of the wines support the foundation’s international cardiovascular research programs. 

Liquid Geography Mencía Rosé

Spanish and Portuguese wine importer Olé & Obrigado donates 100% of its Liquid Geography Mencía Rosé profits to the TJ Martell Foundation in its “search for cancer cures”; the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation to help hospitality workers affected by the pandemic; and Wheeling Forward to help people with disabilities. Olé & Obrigado has donated over $372,000 from Liquid Geography sales since 2013 and aims to reach $1 million in funds raised by 2025.

Lubanzi Wines

Not only is Lubanzi B Corp Certified and Climate Neutral Certified and a member of 1% for the Planet, the South African wine brand returns 50% of its net profits to  a non-profit supporting the communities who labor on the country’s wine farms, with the intention to pioneer a more sustainable and equitable supply chain.

 OneHope

Through December, $50,000 in proceeds from wine sales and gift packages — including the Woof Gift Box for Poochie — transform into Holiday Magic Grants to families with special needs children.

SPIRITS

Copalli Rums

Operating on the principle that the Belizean rum industry can be built and operated sustainably while providing good-paying jobs, the distillery has been deeded back to the community so it can’t be sold. Profits return to the region in the form of education grants, support for local cultural organizations and museums, infrastructure support (like providing wifi during COVID), and training. 

According to the distillery, it was “designed and built to be carbon neutral and the production system is closed – releasing no waste back into the environment.  Sugar cane is harvested by hand and juiced within 2 hours. The leftover sugar cane fiber is dried and used as fuel to heat the stills. The leftover ash is returned to the field as fertilizer.”

Good Deeds Spirits

Nine whiskey producers came together this fall to create Good Deeds Spirits and its limited (1,000 bottles) inaugural blended release, Good Deeds Malt Whiskey. One hundred percent of the whiskey proceeds benefit the STEPUP Foundation, the diversity and inclusion internship initiative founded by the American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA), and future releases will steer all proceeds to other causes. 

Johnny Jeffery, the general manager of Bently Heritage Estate Distillery, who led the effort, says, “As an industry, we’ve come to realize that we need to do more to change the face of distilling. As a group who says our mission is to do good, we felt this was a great start and a tangible way to put our skills to good use and show what a group of friends can do when they care enough about a mission.”

Inspiro Tequila

Built for and by women, this new-to-market brand benefits the owner’s Purple Bicycle Project to inspire and empower women who, according to the company, “have been told, “You’ve been out of game too long,” or “You have no industry experience.” To that end, Inspiro financially supports and mentors female founders as they launch their businesses through annual grants to total between $5,000 and $10,000 with the hopes of increasing it every year. In addition, maestra tequilera Ana María Romero Mena makes the product. 

Maker’s Mark

Starting Giving Tuesday, Maker’s Mark is hosting events around the country where attendees can purchase a bottle of a CommUNITY Batch Private Selection, all of whose proceeds benefit The LEE Initiative, which nurtures diversity and equity in the hospitality industry, particularly through career training. To date, Maker’s Mark has contributed half a million dollars to the organization.

Tanteo Tequila

Professing to be the only tequila owned by its co-op of agave farmers, Tanteo has released a limited-edition, seasonal, aged expression, Tanteo Navidad, which gets rested for 18 months in American oak barrels then hand-infused with pequin chilis, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, ginger and cocoa beans. Um, yum. Ten percent of all profits from its sale go towards Un Salto Con Destino, a charity providing essential medical services to underprivileged members of Tanteo’s Mexican community.

Westward American Single Malt

All of the proceeds from Westward’s fourth Benefit Barrel release support two key organizations: Portland’s Transition Projects and California’s No Us Without You. To date, the Westward’s Benefit Barrel releases have raised nearly $20,000 for causes that directly affect the community in Oregon and beyond.

ASSORTED

Blake’s Hard Cider

St. Cheri, a bourbon barrel Michigan cherry semi-sweet cider, returns for its third and final year as part of BHC’s Kinder Cider philanthropic initiative, a series of three rotating specialty hard ciders that support and raise awareness on social and environmental issues. 

Through sales of Saint Cheri, BHC has raised almost $20,000 since 2019 to benefit Detroit-based nonprofit Empowerment Plan, with the goal of increasing the amount donated to $30,000 this year. The organization’s mission includes an “intensive two-year employment model focused on providing job readiness training and support services to their workforce. The organization also produces durable, weather resistant sleeping bag coats for those experiencing homelessness, of which 55,000 have been distributed around the globe.” 

 JuneShine

Until December 5, the hard kombucha brand will donate 20% of sales at checkout to an environmental nonprofit of the customer’s choosing via 1% For The Planet.

House of Wise

The producer of CBD drinks donates a portion of sales every month to the Last Prisoner Project, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to cannabis criminal justice reform; on Giving Tuesday House of Wise will donate an additional 10% to LPP.  

All of these moneys go into a special grant fund that provides direct assistance to women or the children of women currently or formerly imprisoned on cannabis offenses. House of Wise says, “Our grant recipients are given the freedom to use funds however they need, be it for rent, utility bills, groceries, or school supplies,” and highlights a grant recipient who used the funds to simply open a bank account and another who’s directing the funds to her brother, who’s raising her baby daughter while she remains incarcerated in Florida. 

BONUS

The Independent Restaurant Coalition is asking for donations through the end of the year to fund $43 billion worth of unfilled grant requests to its Restaurant Revitalization Fund, which has delivered $28.6 billion to more than 100,000 independently owned restaurants and bars across the United States since the beginning of the pandemic. Donors who pledge a certain amount qualify for thank-you gifts like recipes and virtual cooking and cocktail-making classes from celebrity chefs and mixologists like Ivy Mix and Alex Day, author and proprietor of the famed Death & Co bar.

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