Maybe it's because beer makers feel the need to fight the occasionally negative perception of alcohol with acts of kindness.
Or maybe it's just that brewers are good people.
Whatever the reason, it doesn't take much to find the spirit of goodwill at breweries this holiday season.
One example in Colorado could become a model for brewers nationwide. It's called the Brewability Lab, a pilot program to teach developmentally disabled adults how to work in a brewery. Located at the Grandma's House collaborative brewery in Denver, the program hires people with autism, Down syndrome, and other disabilities to work in a variety of jobs around the brewery. They do everything from mashing and shoveling spent grain to cleaning and serving.
"They're fully capable of doing many of the tasks in a brewery," said Brewability Lab founder Tiffany Fixter. She said that because developmentally disabled workers excel at repetitive tasks (following recipes or cleaning tanks), they're a perfect fit for a brewhouse.
Community support has been important in getting the project off the ground, as a crowdfunding campaign raised funds for new equipment. There has been some opposition, Fixter said, mainly from those who are opposed to alcohol on principle. But all of the workers are of drinking age and, yes, some of them enjoy a good beer.
If it works, Fixter said, she hopes to eventually move the Brewability Lab into its own facility and possibly franchise the concept.
As I noted, the do-gooder spirit is not uncommon in the beer business. Here's a shout-out to a few other good deeds from 2015:
All this giving kinda makes you feel like beer drinking is actually a good deed.