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Denver Craft Breweries Unite After Exclusion from Coors Sponsored Denver Pride

Call to Arm's Brewer's Light
Brian Phipps

You never know where the next great idea will come from: in a dream in the middle of the night; a brainstorm session after a couple of beers; or being rejected – which is the case here. The initial idea for the first Brewer’s Light Pride Parade and Rumpus started with Call to Arms Brewing Company being declined from participating in the Denver Pride Parade because Coors held an exclusive sponsorship with the parade. From this rejection, Denver breweries and businesses gathered together to put on a new fundraiser! Taking place this Saturday, June 15, at 12 p.m. starting at The Grateful Gnome Sandwich Shoppe & Brewery and ending at Call to Arms Brewing Company.

Brewer’s Light Pride Parade and Rumpus Beginnings

Back in February, Marjorie Scott, a bartender at Call to Arms Brewing, inquired about getting a float for this year’s Coors Light Denver Pride Parade. The plan was for Call to Arms and eight other Denver craft breweries to team up on a collaborative float in the parade. All seemed like it was coming together, they just needed to get approval to join in on the festivities.

Unfortunately, Scott received a message from the parade’s organizers and beneficiary, The Center on Colfax, that thanked them for their interest, but due to the parade’s sponsorship and exclusivity contract with Coors Brewing Company they could not allow other breweries to have a float in the parade.

“I realized that I was probably not the only craft brewery to get this message either this year or in years past,” says Scott.

Moving forward, Scott reached out to the craft breweries who agreed to do the float. Though, this time to see if everyone wanted to do a different kind of collaborative event.

Out of these talks, came this year’s newest event – the Brewers Light Pride Parade and Rumpus. Scott says, “Our goal with this event at Call To Arms is to support and raise awareness for LGBTQ+ nonprofits.” The event is announced as a “demonstration of love and support of the LGBTQ+ community in the form of the World’s Tiniest Brewer’s Light Pride Parade and festivities.”

Call to Arms Brewer's Light Pride Parade & Rumpus
Marjorie Scott, second from left, and others sporting the Call to Arms Brewer’s Light shirts. These shirts will be on sale where all proceeds after cost will go to The Trevor Project.

“We wanted an event that is inclusive for anyone. Our event hopefully gives more local businesses a chance to support the LGBTQ+ community,” says Scott Scott and Grateful Gnome Head Brewer Bess Dougherty. After putting the idea together, Dougherty and Scott were unsure what type of response the event would receive from the community. So far, the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive and above their expectations. Or as Doughtery excitingly exclaimed, “Shit blew up!” As of today, 24 craft breweries and businesses are involved in the Brewer’s Light Pride Parade and Rumpus.

Dougherty and Scott hold no grudges about not being able to participate in the Denver Pride Parade. “We LOVE the work the Center (on Colfax) does and want everyone to support the work they do,” Scott says. On Sunday, June 16, the The Coors Light Pride Parade begins at 9:30am at Cheesman Park and goes west on Colfax Avenue towards Civic Center Park.

Event Details of the Brewer’s Light Pride Parade and Rumpus

The entire event will take place in the West Highlands area on Tennyson Street. The festivities kick off at 12pm on Saturday, June 15 with the parade starting at 3pm at The Grateful Gnome. Next, it heads south to Empourium Brewing Company, and finishing back north at Call to Arms.

In addition, Call to Arms is making their own charitable beer, Brewer’s Light, for the event.

Brewer’s Light

  • Brut IPA, 6.6% ABV
  • Malts: 2-Row, Munich Malt, Faked Oats, Rye Malt
  • Yeast: California Ale (006)
  • Hops: Rakau, Chinook, Enigma
  • An intensely dry Brut IPA comes with loads of strawberry notes, melon, with a resinous finish.
  • $1 from every pint poured will go to The Trevor Project.

Other breweries have committed to donating a portion of proceeds in their taproom during the month of June to LGBTQ+ nonprofits such as One Colorado, The Center, Transformative Freedom Fund, and Inside/Out Youth Services.

Brewer’s Light Pride Parade and Rumpus Partners

Here are all the businesses participating in the Brewers Light Pride Parade & Rumpus:

Beneficiary – The Trevor Project

In planning the event, all the breweries suggested several charities to be the beneficiary of the event, but ultimately decided to choose The Trevor Project. The nonprofit is a “national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25.”

Looking Ahead

Today, Scott and Dougherty are excited that the parade is almost here! After all, this started back in February when Call to Arms was told they could not be included. By banding together, Call to Arms and other businesses concocted and put forth the idea to have the “World’s Tiniest Brewer’s Light Pride Parade.” The idea seems pretty fantastic when pairing the two communities of craft beer and LGTBQ+. Oh, and lots of biodegradable glitter!

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