CHASING BREWS: UNITING BEER LOVERS IN ACTION, ONE SCREENING AT A TIME
By celebrating the stewardship of local brewers, we were able to raise awareness about the environmental challenges facing the brewing industry and inspire their community of beer lovers.
Chasing Coral is a unique medium to connect communities, even in landlocked states, to what’s happening below the waves due to warming waters. In the fall of 2018 across Colorado, we launched an experimental model called “Chasing Brews” to screen the film at local breweries.
Breweries are leading the way when it comes to sustainable production. From waste diversion and water conservation to reusing and recycling materials and installing systems that limit energy usage, they’re finding unique ways to bypass standard waste that’s typical in production and reduce their environmental and carbon impact.
In 4 months, we worked with 8 independent, locally owned breweries to coordinate events in 5 cities. Each event entailed a brief introduction, the film, a panel discussion with a brewery representative and local organizations, and a giveaway for brewery merch.
“The documentary was very moving for our staff along with attendees of [the] event. After the screening we held a meeting with our staff to see what ways we could be more sustainable as a brewery. Some changes were small and some were bigger but we realized that every little bit helps. We stopped buying single use plastic cups for guests water glasses, asked our clothing vendors to stop packaging in plastic sleeves and found a way to start recycling our grain bags & plastic wrap from kegs that we use in our brewery.”
– Michael Webster, Tasting Room Manager
By having a representative from the brewery speak before and after the film, the taproom “regulars” were engaged and the folks who were new to the brewery were inspired by their sustainability efforts and ready to support a business that prioritizes the environment.
Jerry Siote, the Brewhouse Production and Operations Manager of Lone Tree Brewing Company told us: “The film was incredibly moving and impactful for me personally and was another important reminder [of] what we all need to be doing to move towards sustainable operations in the brewing world.”
“Left Hand has a strong commitment to sustainability, green energy, and the protection of our local watershed. We were able to use the powerful imagery and mission of this film as a segue into providing more information to the public about what we do to protect our environment as a brewery and as a call to action as to how they could get involved. Chasing Brews helped us to connect deeper to our community.“– Kristina Schostak, Events Coordinator, Left Hand Brewing Company
Engaging attendees in action
As the film ends, people typically feel moved and ready to do something. The panel was a great way to engage the audience in talking about local issues. Before introducing panelists we spoke of the great transformation, a reference from Chasing Coral.
“We were delighted to work with Exposure Labs on this viewing and particularly enjoyed the opportunity for our sustainability team to field questions with other sustainability experts in different fields. The audience was very receptive to the viewing and we feel it was a great contribution to our culture and community.”
– TJ Slattery, Co-Founder
“You look at every piece of climate change action and it’s about improving people’s lives – creation of jobs, reducing pollution, greenifying cities. It’s essentially a great transformation that’s already beginning…all we’ve got to do is give it a bit of a shove.”– Richard Vevers, Chasing Coral
Connecting the dots. We passed out a handout with ideas on how anyone can become a part of the great transformation. Then we then kicked off the panel by asking everyone to tell us how their work is a part of the great transformation. Seamlessly, the panelists were able to connect the dots from the film to local action. Following the panel, attendees were invited to take a polaroid + write down a commitment to be a part of the great transformation.
“As a B Corp, we found our event with Chasing Brews to be one of the most effective and educational events that we have held at Upslope Brewing Company. As the host, we were able to bring in other community stakeholders to engage with the audience in a meaningful discussion about sustainability. We were inspired by the success of this event and look forward to working with Meghan and the team in the future.”
– Laura Greeney, Event Coordinator
250 attendees came out to support their favorite breweries and learn about what’s happening below the waves. Audiences included taproom “regulars,” teachers, college students, neighborhood families, conservationists, local divers, service industry workers, construction industry reps, outside brewers, and more.
50 commitments to action – from sharing learnings about sustainability to volunteering with local organizations, voting in local elections, supporting businesses that prioritize the environment, saying no to single use plastics, and challenging businesses and local representatives to do better.
12 organizations had the opportunity to connect with new audiences and provide pathways for making a difference locally. Panelists included brewery “green teams,” city council members, sustainable makers, parks & rec employees, conservationists, recycling reps, snowboard + ski industry reps, solar + reusable energy reps, and more.
8 breweries saw increased traffic on typically slow evenings when screenings were programmed and all were eager to find other ways to collaborate in the future.