By Makenzie O'Keefe

(CBS4)– While breweries across the state have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, many are coming together with a unique way to support the industry and others across the state. They’re doing this by brewing a new beer, called Colorado Strong Pale Ale.

The nonprofit Colorado Brewers Guild and the Left Hand Brewing Foundation have created the Colorado Strong Fund, to support Colorado craft breweries and suppliers while also raising money for healthcare, hospitality, service industry, and gig economy workers across Colorado.

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“It’s designed to help support the brewing industry and all of the wonderful employees who work in it,” explained Eric Kean, the Executive Director of the Left Hand Brewing Foundation. “And then also raise money to help our community across Colorado recover and deal with the COVID outbreak.”

When the pandemic hit, breweries had to close tasting rooms and walk-in traffic, relying solely on takeout sales.

“You had to sit down and really think about what is the next move, how are we going to get beyond this,” explained Theresa Schirner with Mirror Image Brewing Company.

Mirror Image Brewing Company in Frederick is one of more than 100 breweries across the state taking part in the Colorado Strong benefit beer project. Each brewery starts with the same recipe, but can put their own spin on the beer.

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“It’s not too hoppy, it’s not too light or malty,” Schirner said. “It’s a perfect beer.”

With different variations of the pale ale recipe, each Colorado Strong beer brings something unique. The hope is that this will encourage craft beer lovers to try different versions.

“We’re hoping that consumers will go and pick it up from two, three, six, if you’re me 125 different breweries,” Kean laughed. “And try all the variations. There is a lot of creativity and passion in this.”

It’s meant a fun way for people to support the local craft beer industry, until breweries can open fully.

“I think everyone should support local craft breweries,” Schirner said. “It supports families, everyone who works here and just a really unique industry that is I think the Colorado culture that we have here.”

In addition to supporting the brewing industry, the Colorado Strong Fund helps others. 20 percent of the proceeds will be allocated directly to provide assistance to healthcare, hospitality, service industry, and gig economy workers across the state.

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“It’s literally money from consumers who are super happy to be able to enjoy a beer that they love, all the way right back into the pockets of people who need it the most,” Kean said.

Some of the Colorado Strong Pale Ale are already on tap, and ready for carry-out. To see which breweries are participating or to learn more visit: https://www.lhbfoundation.org/coloradostrong/.

Makenzie O'Keefe

Comments (2)
  1. So you can have any variety if beer you want, so long as its Colorado Strong Pale Ale? I’d like some good Tripel, stout, or porter instead. What happened to the exchange here? You might as well eliminate this forum entirely as engage in censorship so oppressive.

    1. Mea culpa; I confused this article for another on the same subject — but CBS 4 has been known to censor comments.

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