It’s no secret that we love Colorado here at Citywide Banks. Sure, it’s our home and where we are raising our kids. However, it goes beyond that. Maybe it’s our scenic mountains or the extra days of sunshine, but people around here are passionate. Passionate about living life to the fullest and helping others reach their full potential. That passion makes our community strong. We applaud those individuals and companies that use that passion to move our community forward through charitable outreach, volunteering, or other activities. Citywide Banks is proud to recognize Denver’s Declaration Brewing for its community commitment with our 2017 Community Pride Award.
Declaration Brewing will accept the award during the Made in Colorado event later today in downtown Denver. Citywide Banks will make a $2,000 charitable donation on behalf of Declaration Brewing. The brewer has chosen to split the donation evenly between Chanda Plan Foundation, which helps persons with physical disabilities, and the Dumb Friends League, an organization focused on ending pet homelessness.
For those that have spent any time with Declaration’s “chief instigator” Mike Blandford know, Declaration is passionate about doing things differently. That includes its brewing process, community outreach, and cultivating Colorado’s brand identity.
“If you do it the way everyone else has done it, the best you’re going to be is average,” explained Blandford. “To hell with the way everyone else does it, we are going to do it our way.”
First, the brewery was founded by two chemical engineers and a molecular biologist. Founding fathers, Blandford, Greg Schlichting, and Dr. Paul Ogg became friends while attending the Colorado School of Mines. All of their brews, a whopping 70 varieties created in the group’s first two years, are rooted in science. Declaration even built its own yeast laboratory to purify and grow specialty yeast. The unique approach has led to increasing popularity, which has created its own set of challenges to keep pace with demand.
Declaration’s brewery itself is setting new benchmarks in the industry. The location on Cherokee Street near Evans is the first and only Certified Green brewery by the City of Denver and one of only three breweries on Colorado’s Environmental Leadership Board with Silver status.
Along with much success, the team at Declaration has gone through some challenges in its first two years. None was more significant than the loss of one of their founders, Dr. Paul Ogg, who passed in 2016 after battling a rare T-cell lymphoma cancer. Ogg was well-known and an inspiration for many across Colorado's brew community. As a tribute, Blandford and others orchestrated an unprecedented collaboration labeled the Biggest Small Beer Ever campaign. Just a few months before Ogg’s death, more than 100 craft breweries across 50 states simultaneously brewed Ogg's special recipe porter for one day.
MAKE COLORADO GLOBAL
Blandford takes great pride in being a Colorado business. He believes Colorado, and the products made here, have a unique value because of innovation and thinking differently.
"People around here are passionate," explains Blandford. "It's exceptional. We have a chance to show people how it should be done. We are setting an example, the right example."
"We have an amazing brand here and an amazing mentality here," continued Blandford. "Everyone keeps talking about keeping Colorado local, but I say let's make Colorado global. If we can export our brand in a way that people can understand and grab onto, we have a chance to teach something about humanity and something beyond the now."
HELPING OUR NEIGHBORS IN NEED
Blandford takes to heart something that Ogg used to tell him about their higher purpose. He explained that they are in the business of making friends. And, that goes to the company's core sense of community.
"There's a different mentality here in Colorado. It's a sense. It's an attitude," commented Blandford. "It's something you feel in your heart."
Walk into Declaration's taproom on a Friday night and you'll feel that sense of community. And, if you're lucky, you will learn a little more about the fascinating impacts of beer in world history from the crew at Declaration. There are plenty of smiles and laughs in between the sips of beer.
However, Blandford and his team also know that many in our local community are suffering. Like its beer menu, Declaration doesn't limit its outreach to one segment. The needs are great so they try to support lots of different local causes. It regularly hosts charity fundraisers at its taproom. The team volunteers and the brewery provides financial support to several Colorado charities.
Some its recent outreach activities include support of the Morgan Adams Foundation, Brent's Place, the annual Run for Beer fundraiser for local charities, Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver's "House that Beer Built" campaign, Adaptive Adventures, Chanda Plan Foundation, Dumb Friends League, Art of War Project, and others.
Visit www.DeclarationBrewing.com to learn more about this Colorado company.