Sanitas Brewing
Sanitas Brewing will be among 15 Boulder Breweries at Microbreweries for the Environment. Photo by Jacob Helleckson

Microbreweries for the Environment – 25th Anniversary


There’s nothing much more Boulder than an event combining tasty local beer, live music and support for positive environmental causes. On April 28, Boulder Theater hosts the Microbreweries for the Environment benefit concert, a local fixture celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

Founded by Eric Kessler of the University of Colorado Environmental Center in 1992, the group has come a long way since ’92.

Co-founder Will Toor says he stole the idea from the California League of Conservation Voters, who did a much higher-end version of this when he was in California in 1991. He says he and Kessler decided to help create a “lower-dollar version” in Boulder.

“We ran out of beer because we could only find four microbreweries to participate,” Toor says.

Since then, the event has moved into the larger Boulder Theater venue, and more than 25 different companies have gotten involved, drawing brews ranging from the major brands like Avery and Odell to the newer and micro-er shops, such as ODD13, Sanitas and 4 Noses. For the 25th anniversary, 15 Boulder and Denver breweries will offer up their tastiest products for attendees.

Adding to the fun at this year’s event will be The Brothers Comatose and The Drunken Hearts, two roots-Americana bands well-known through their extensive touring around the front range and the Western U.S. Acoustic guitars, banjos, mandolins and a hill-country-stomp vibe should add plenty of rhythm to the beer-tasting good times.

Of course, the most important part of these events are the causes involved. For several years now, the organizers have received 20 or so applications from various groups around the Front Range; the board of CU Environmental Center alumni and faculty vote to determine who each year’s event will benefit. In prior years, this group has included the likes of Flatirons Neighborhood Farm, The Prairie Initiative, Community Cycles and a few dozen others. This year’s beneficiaries will be Friends of Red Rocks, Colorado Community Rights Network, The University of Colorado Environmental Center and Falling Fruit. In total, the annual event has raised more than $175,000 for good causes to preserve and enhance this gorgeous area.

Aside from the nuts and bolts of it all, at its core, Microbreweries for the Environment is a social (and social consciousness) gathering. According to organizer SarahDawn Haynes, it has “a reunion feel for community members. We are told regularly it is a favorite event for the brewers, bands and participants. It feels good to be with like-minded folks, be donating to good causes and have a proper celebration for Earth Day.”

This year’s event is on Friday, April 28 — the Friday following Earth Day — at the Boulder Theater at 8 p.m.

Microbrew Poster

For More Info

For more information on Microbreweries for the Environment, visit the Facebook page here.

For more information on the causes involved, you can visit their websites at: Colorado Community Rights Network, Falling Fruit, CU Environmental Center and Friends of Red Rocks.

To learn more about the bands playing, or to buy tickets to this year’s event, you can find the event page on the Boulder Theater website here.

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