The Colorado Grain Chain (CGC), a non-profit organization of businesses and consumers that seeks to grow and connect a vibrant community-centered grain economy in the state of Colorado, has announced the Brewers & Distillers Microgrant Program. The program will award four participants—one from each of Colorado’s four major watersheds—with $4,000 each to craft a beverage made exclusively from Colorado-grown grains.
According to the CGC, the goal of the program is to collect specific information about the use of Colorado grown grains in craft beverages, promote its member businesses, and raise awareness and demand for Colorado grown grain products. The CGC is accepting applications for these grants until May 29, 2023.
“We’re very excited to be launching this microgrant program and to be supporting small businesses and Colorado grown grains,” said Lisa Boldt, cofounder of Primitive Beer in Longmont, Colorado, and Grant Coordinator with the CGC. “Colorado has many amazing craft beverage producers, and we’re hoping this program helps inspire more breweries and distilleries to use local grains and explore the companies behind them.”
Colorado’s four major watersheds are the South Platte River (northeast), the Arkansas River (southeast), the Rio Grande River (south central), and the Colorado River (western slope). The CGC will award one brewery or distillery from each region with a $4,000 grant to be used for ingredients, packaging, artwork, release day event and other expenses incurred in creating the beverage. Applicants must be a Colorado-based business, use only state-grown grains in the beverage, document their spending, and be willing to gather information about the grains used and share their findings and experiences. A portion of the beverage produced must be packaged for sale (bottles, cans, bag-in-box, etc.) so that it can be shared with others. However, grant recipients keep all profits they generate from the beverage.
Additionally, applicants must include the Colorado Grown Grains Co-Brand (Co-Brand) logo and QR code on the packaging and in event promotion. The Co-Brand seeks to increase demand and create awareness of the value in locally sourced, nutritious, and wholesome grains and grain products. Registered Co-Brand users are encouraged to become CGC business members and are eligible for a limited time reduced rate of $99 for annual CGC membership.
The CGC hopes grant recipients are able to use grains from their regional watershed, and strongly encourages collaborations such as breweries and distilleries working together or with bakers and other grain-related businesses. The CGC will be available to help plan and promote a fun release day event where multiple facets of the Colorado Grain Chain are highlighted.