Hops + Handrails + doing the right thing

By Jamie Mills

 Photo - Left Hand Brewing Co.

Photo - Left Hand Brewing Co.

Left Hand Brewery is bringing together 60-plus breweries from Colorado for its charity event dubbed Hops + Handrails Beer Fest and Rail Jam. 

All proceeds from the event will go to SOS Outreach, CHILL Foundation and the Left Hand Brewing Foundation. 

In its fifth year, the event has raised more than $100,000 for the community. “Providing access, experiences, peer mentors and guiding our underserved youth toward a better path are wonderful causes anyone can get behind,” said Josh Goldberg, Left Hand’s community and event manager. Left Hand Brewing has worked with these organizations for many years and are passionate about the good that comes from creating better lives for at-risk children, he said.

SOS Outreach works to help at-risk youth using outdoor adventure sports. It was designed for kids who might not have been able to learn new activities growing up like skiing, snowboarding, rock climbing, backpacking, hiking and stand up paddle boarding. They are monitored by adult volunteers and learn core values of the program. After completing the program, 96 percent of at-risk kids plan to attend college. SOS focuses on building six core values: courage, discipline, integrity, wisdom, humility and compassion. SOS Outreach has been impacting children’s lives for more than 20 years.

CHILL Foundation was founded by Donna and Jake Carpenter who might be better known as the founders of Burton Snowboards. They are helping around 1,400 kids per year and over the span of the company’s life, they have helped more than 20,000 young people. CHILL uses snowboard and skateboard programs to teach life lessons like respect, patience, persistence, courage, responsibility and pride. The foundation works with struggling youth from low-income communities. Some of the kids have experienced the courts, mental health and drug treatment programs, transitional housing, foster care, and after-school programs. According to the CHILL website: the kids “current situation doesn't have to define them or determine their path in life; Chill helps them to realize alternatives beyond the struggles they are dealing with.” 

Left Hand Brewery not only donates 1 percent of annual revenues to charities worldwide, but the company also put together the Left Hand Brewery Foundation for community support closer to home. The LHBF “supports primary needs, community support groups, arts & cultural activities, housing projects, medical research & responds to issues and emergencies in the Longmont community and beyond,” according to the foundation website. As of November 2016, Left Hand had donated $710,601 to charitable organizations. 

Left Hand was founded on the idea that no matter how bad things get, you still have to do the right thing. The brewery is dedicated to giving back to the community in any way that it can, Goldberg said. “Combining our powers, the powers of our 300-plus local volunteers, the powers of our guest breweries, bands, snowboarders and especially the power of 7,000 folks rockin’ out for a good cause is one of the most fulfilling ways we do the right thing.” 


 Photo - Left Hand Brewing Co.

Photo - Left Hand Brewing Co.

Hop + Handrails will be held on March 11 at Roosevelt Park in Longmont from 12-6 p.m. The event will feature a 40-foot-high snowboard ramp and rail jam competition, followed by a rock and blues concert lineup featuring Chris Robinson Brotherhood and Grant Farm. They also have a kids zone that includes the Burton Ringlet Park, Play It Again Sports Puck Off, Dizzy Fun Center and face painting. There will also be food at the event from Abo’s Pizza, Georgia Boys BBQ, Samples World Bistro, Sisters Dumplings and Hefe’s Tacos/The Roost.


Tickets can be found at They are $75 for VIP, $40 for beer fest with general admission, $15 for general admission only, $10 for kids (5-12) and free for children under 5. 


Schedule of events:

  • 11 a.m. – Doors open
  • 11 a.m. – Music: DJ Furbie Cakes
  • 12 p.m. – First beer festival pour
  • 1 p.m. – Junior category riders competition
  • 1 p.m. – Music: Grant Farm
  • 2 p.m. – Ladies category riders competition
  • 3 p.m. – Open category riders competition
  • 3:45 p.m. – Final rider competition
  • 4 p.m. – Award ceremony
  • 4:30 p.m. – Music: Chris Robinson Brotherhood