Craft brewers are a charitable bunch. Hardly a week goes by without a brewery somewhere donating proceeds / promotional power to a cool cause. Four Peaks Brewing LUKI Brewery are two that recently stood out in my inbox for supporting some unsung heroes in our communities this month.
Four Peaks Brewing Co., as you may know, is always supporting teachers — an idea I wish more establishments would copy. Four Peaks co-founder Jim Scussel created the innovative Four Peaks For Teachers program in 2011 to help reduce the financial burden on teachers in the Southwest, many of whom spend hundreds of dollars on school supplies each year without reimbursement.
“We’re very concerned about teacher burnout, both locally and nationally,” Scussel says. “Here in Arizona, the number of teachers is at its lowest point since 2004. We all should support teachers in any way we can. One easy way to do that is to nominate an outstanding teacher in our national grant competition.”
This year, after 12 years, the Tempe brewery’s “Four Peaks For Teachers” campaign will now be supporting teachers in five states. And now, during a national teacher shortage, Four Peaks is more committed than ever to providing K-12 educators with the supplies they need to succeed in the classroom. Launching on Teacher Appreciation Day, their goal is to distribute free kits full of much-needed school supplies to 10,000 teachers in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Utah.
The craft brewery will also award $1,000 grants for school supplies to 12 teachers nationwide in a contest that is open May 3 through June 30 through fourpeaksforteachers.org/nominate. The grant competition is open to teachers nationwide, even in states where Four Peaks beer is not distributed.
Four Peaks will set aside a portion of sales of its flagship and beloved Kilt Lifter Amber Ale, which largely funds supplies and grants for the Four Peaks For Teachers program. The more Kilt Lifter sold, and the more direct donations made, the more teachers they can support. Four Peaks For Teachers will purchase and donate essential supplies such as paper reams, pencils, pen and marker packs, staplers, staples and participating retail coupons.
Also new this year: Phoenix Rising is hosting their Four Peaks For Teachers game night on Saturday, May 7. All tickets purchased for the May 7 game will include a $3 donation to Four Peaks For Teachers. Customers located outside Four Peaks’ distribution footprint can also make a direct, tax-deductible donation to the program at fourpeaksforteachers.org. Donations to Four Peaks For Teachers are managed through Four Peaks Charities, a nonprofit 501(c)(3).
Meanwhile, LUKI Brewery is celebrating Nurses Week with a benefit beer, as well as food and drink discounts.
The Arvada-based brewery’s Nurses Week recognition hits a personal note for LUKI Brewery Co-Owner Cammy Smith. LUKI has employed individuals in nursing school and Smith herself is the director of clinical services at the Colorado Visiting Nurse Association.
“This has been a rough few years for healthcare in general, but nurses are leaving the industry in large numbers because they are feeling overworked and burned out,” says Smith. “Nurses are an extremely important part of our healthcare systems. We need to protect, support, and recognize nurses to prevent losing more, and to continue to encourage more to join the profession.”
To kick off the celebration, LUKI will debut Colorado Lamplighter, a 5.2% Fruited Session IPA which taps at 12 p.m. on May 6. Additions of Nelson Sauvin hops, Strawberry and Raspberry puree leaves a crisp, fruity finish to this highly approachable and subtly pink beer. $1 of every Colorado Lamplighter pint sold will be donated to the Colorado Nurses Foundation, an organization dedicated to advancing nursing in Colorado through education, advocacy, and recognition.
In addition to the benefit beer, LUKI brewery will also be offering 20% off beer tabs with a Nursing I.D. during Nurses Week and have partnered with area food trucks who will be on-site offering discounts for nurses.
“LUKI supports areas of healthcare including the nursing profession, mental health, and serious illness awareness,” says Smith. “I am glad that as an owner of, I have the unique opportunity to use craft beer as a way to allow the general public to help support nursing through something as simple and enjoyable as purchasing a beer.”