In the middle of 2011, Great Divide realized they had an interesting problem. People had learned that small samples of the beer were free, and on a Friday night would pour into the taproom, slam a flight of high octane brew, and wander off to other locations of lesser repute. Call them frugal or hyenas, these were not the patrons the brewery hoped would fill their bar stools on a Friday evening. But what could a fledgling, 17 year old brewery do? To charge for samples would be disingenuous to their fans, friends, and future followers. To keep them free would be to attract these hooligans of the night.
Donate the proceeds! That’s what some enterprising thinker thought. And so they did.
2012 was the first full year of this sample donation experiment, and it worked well. Very well. The brewery donated $73,201 to local non-profits purely from sample revenue. These non-profits included Denver Foundation’s Summer Food Program, First Descents, Cooking Matters, Bruce Randolph School Y Achievers, East High School Student Assistance Fund, Colorado Youth at Risk, The GrowHaus, and YouthBiz, as well as local divisions of Boys Hope Girls Hope, Habitat for Humanity, and ARC.
“The sample program is an easy and affordable way for our guests to experience a wide range of our beers in one visit,” says Great Divide’s Founder and President, Brian Dunn, “and it’s also a great way for us give a significant amount to money to some important local organizations that do some really good work in our neighborhood and beyond. The Denver community has been extremely supportive of Great Divide over the years and has been a big part of our success. I’m really happy to see the brewery be able to give back.”
What’s all this mean for you? It means you should head down to the Great Divide Tap Room, located at 2201 Arapahoe, and sample all their beers. For the kids.