Shop, Drink And Make Others Merry On Giving Tuesday And Through The Holidays

Food & Drink

You probably say it at least every few years around this time: “Let’s skip all the materialism and celebrate what the holidays are really about – friends, family and helping those less fortunate.” Yet if you’re like most, each year finds you at the mall or online, frantically shopping for your daughter’s boyfriend’s kids’ dog (yes, really) out of some commendable yet misplaced sense of obligation. If you insist on doing that again this time, you can at least make your money matter this coming (Giving) Tuesday by supporting companies that use some of their profits for good.

So if you’re buying beer or spirits this holiday – either to serve, as a present, or as a way to get yourself through all that darn gift wrapping —  consider killing two birds with one stone by purchasing from these producers, either on Giving Tuesday or any time of year. (No Christmas doves were harmed in the writing of this article.)


Concrete Beach Brewery: Concrete Beach, the Miami brewery founded by Boston Beer’s Alchemy and Science incubator, is donating $1 per six-pack and $.25 per pint sold through the holidays to Feeding South Florida, an organization that donates 46 million pounds of food annually to hungry South Florida residents.

Pink Boots Society: By ordering apparel from PBS you’re contributing 100% of the profits to help a woman further her career in the beer industry. As the world’s only non-profit to support female beer professionals, Pink Boots has awarded more than 75 scholarships to programs from Cicerone test-prep classes to advanced brewing courses at the Seibel Institute of Technology. (Disclosure: I work as a Pink Boots volunteer.)

Russian River Brewing: After yet another wildfire to ravage parts of Sonoma County, California, the county’s best-known brewery is reviving the Sonoma Pride beer it brewed after the Tubbs Fire two years ago. This time, however, it will be different. Instead of enlisting participation from outside breweries, Russian River will brew the beer – an India Pale Lager packaged in a commemorative bottle — itself and donate proceeds to a first-responder charity of some sort. While the beer won’t be released until December 7 and will only be sold at the brewery’s two locations, you can also order related merch online.


Absolut: Absolut vodka is sponsoring a series of four Sofar Sounds concerts over the next few weeks to encourage audiences to bring coats to donate to needy families, veterans and seniors. The concerts – held at undisclosed locations in Philadelphia on Wednesday night, New York City on Tuesday, Los Angeles on December 9 and Chicago on December 16 – bring together a charity called One Warm Coat with the nationally popular Sofar Sounds concert series. Absolut is also setting up coat drop-off bins around the country.

Bacardi: Bacardi Rum is providing a soundtrack for saving the whales through its first-of-a-kind, limited-edition “Straw Vinyl” record for sale on on Giving Tuesday. The album features the track ‘Make it Hot’ by Major Lazer and Anitta and it’s made from 600 straws per record. To support the Lonely Whale Foundation, Bacardi has been collecting used single-use plastic straws from participating bars across the country and converting them into music. 100% of proceeds from the $50 record go to the foundation, which acts as an incubator for ideas on saving the world’s oceans.  

Gray Whale Gin: One percent of all sales of California’s Gray Whale Gin helps to fund Oceana, a non-profit that, according to Oceana’s marketing materials, “seeks to make our oceans more biodiverse and abundant by winning policy victories in the countries that govern much of the world’s marine life.” Inspired by the Pacific gray whale, the gin gets infused by botanicals foraged or organically farmed along much of the Pacific coast that serves as the whale’s migratory path. Further, Gray Whale founders collect empty bottles of their product and upcycle them into candle holders for candles that benefit Oceana and are scented with some of the gin’s botanicals.

Kleos: Planning to be in the Boston area this season? Buy a cocktail made with Kleos’ mastiha liqueur distilled from the sap of the skinos tree, which only grows in 24 villages on the Greek island of Chios. Kleos’ founder – the first Greek woman to launch her own spirits brand – will match $1 from each drink to benefit the Phoenix House women and children’s shelter in the Dorchester section of the city. Side note: Kleos’ master distiller is believed to be the first female in Greece to hold such a title. Can’t make it to Beantown? You can buy Kleos in Massachusetts, New York or Florida or order it online.

New Riff Distillery: Newport, Kentucky’s New Riff is kicking off its month-long BRRRR-Bon coat drive to benefit St. Vincent De Paul on Giving Tuesday. Sales throughout Kentucky and Ohio of specially marked bottles of its Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey result in a $1 donation to the anti-poverty group. Plus, the distillery is beginning to host monthly “Here’s to You” community happy hours where half of proceeds from cocktail sales benefit a rotating list of local philanthropies. The first, on December 10, also benefits St. Vincent de Paul’s coat drive.

Shots Box: When you purchase a Shots Box gift set of Driftless Glen Bourbon and a branded winter beanie on Giving Tuesday, Shots Box donates 50% of net profits to the Love Your Melon apparel company fund that supports pediatric cancer research.

Simple Vodka: For every bottle sold, Simple Vodka donates money to local and national hunger relief organizations to feed 20 people in need.

The Spirits Lab Distilling Company: On Giving Tuesday, Newburgh, New York’s Spirits Lab distillery, retailer and bar donates some of the proceeds from sales of Cuca Fresca cachaca and other items from the gift shops to The Bowery Mission in New York City.  

Vitae Spirits: On Giving Tuesday Charlottesville, Virginia’s Vitae Spirits is hosting a public party for its new neighbor, the McIntire Botanical Garden. The distillery is opening on a Tuesday, donating space and creating special cocktails from which owners will donate $1 per cocktail to the garden. They’re collecting raffle prizes and donating 100% of the raffle money to the garden, as well.  

Wild Turkey: Through its “With Thanks” program, Wild Turkey bourbon is teaming up with celebrity Matthew McConaughey and Operation BBQ Relief, a 501C3 disaster-response organization that serves hot BBQ meals (and turkey dinners, when appropriate) to fire fighters in California along with police officers and the less fortunate in Los Angeles, New Orleans, Dallas and Chicago. During the holidays the team (including McConaughey) is supporting Turkey Trots around the country and delivering turkeys to first responders and homeless shelters. Additionally, Wild Turkey is donating $50,000 to OBR.

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