Brewers Philanthropy Award (BPA)

The Cincinnati Community ToolBank honors a local Brewery with the Brewers Philanthropy Award at our annual fundraiser, Hammers & Ales. The BPA recognizes a Tri-State Brewery for their civic leadership, collaboration, and community impact leveraging the region’s rich brewing heritage.  This award reflects the values of the ToolBank and our commitment to empowering social capital to increase collective impact in our community. Click the links below to learn more.

2018 BPA Winner: Listermann Brewing Company

While receiving both the Finalist trophy and the 75 lbs. BPA traveling trophy from event speaker Chris Riva of WCPO, Dan Listermann, was heard to say “This is neat” He went on to say that Jason Brewer should be here, he is the one who made all this possible. So we reached out to the General Manager, who could not be at the event. Here is what he had to say: “Thank you! It really is an honor to win this award. We believe that without our community we wouldn’t exist so it is very important for us to support our community partners. We’d like to extend a special thank you to our community partners including the Cincinnati Zoo, Elementz and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.”

2017 Brewers Philanthropy Award Finalists:


A Real Can-Do Attitude – Why does Listermann care about community? General manager, Jason Brewer, put it this way, “We survive because of our community.” So it makes sense that when the life of premature baby hippo Fiona was on the line Listermann got off their can and partnered with the Cincinnati Zoo to launch Team Fiona, a special beer release that would donate 25% of sales to the effort of saving Fiona’s life. Purchases from the Team Fiona brew have generated $25,000 for the Cincinnati Zoo towards the care of Fiona, who survived and is thriving. The success of that effort has launched a partnership that will continue to financially support and spread awareness of the efforts of the Cincinnati Zoo–including the historic birth of an endangered Rhino. Listermann has also partnered with Elementz Hip Hop Youth Center by releasing a series of east coast, hip hop inspired beers that will benefit the local artist community and designating a side of their building as an art wall where visual artists can practice and hone their mural skills. But wait there’s more! Listermann has cans benefiting causes from Norwood firefighters to Cystic Fibrosis. While not every Listermann beer is linked with a cause, Brewer said “it’s a lot more fun that way.” Voters, Listermann, has been a real life saver!

Urban Artifact:

A Community Sanctuary – Revitalizing a historic church in a tight-knit neighborhood comes with some responsibilities that Urban Artifact takes seriously. Their Northside facility has been a meeting place, cultural home, and pinnacle of the community for 140 years, and they plan to continue opening their doors to be that central place in the neighborhood. In addition to building community, Urban Artifact has regularly worked to help raise money for local non-profit organizations such as NEST, CAIN, and the Apple Street Market, regional organizations like The United Way, and The Cincinnati Museum Center, as well as supporting fundraisers for local families in need. Urban Artifact emphasizes the cultural vibrancy of Cincinnati. Their drive to create great new beers is always partnered with their goals of working with and highlighting local artists and other small businesses. They are proud of their commitment to support the local arts community. By investing directly in hundreds of local musicians, actors, and performers of all types, they are building the Northside and Cincinnati areas to be a stronger, more vibrant cultural destination. Voters, stayed tuned to Urban Artifact!

Rhinegeist Brewery: 

Tapped into the Community – Rhinegeist believes in the power of beer to bring great people together,  foment fantastic ideas, and build a community that values craft beer and one another. Rhinegeist has continued their Charitable Suds initiative to donate taproom beer sale proceeds to one local nonprofit every Wednesday. This year the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati nominated Rhinegeist for being a consistent supporter and community partner. The first partnership was a coat drive that allowed over 500 coats to go to families in need. “Rhinegeist generously donated $1 beer coupons to every person that donated a coat which I think was a huge part of our success,” said a YMCA representative. The second partnership was for the YMCA Annual Wiffle Ball Home Run Derby. Rhinegeist donated all of the proceeds from the entry fees, a portion of tap room sales and encouraged Eli’s BBQ to donate all of the proceeds of the food sales that day. This event raised over $1,000 for the Y. This shows an ability to go beyond pouring out their own blessing, but also being willing to leverage their relationships with other business and challenge them to make even more of an impact. Voters, Rhinegeist is a brewery that won’t tap out on their community partners!

Fifty West:

Blood, Sweat, and Beers – According to Fifty West co-founder Bobby Slattery, beer and community go hand in hand.  This belief spurs their efforts to both find creative ways to raise money for organizations and provide space for hosting charitable events at their east side facility. The collision of community, creativity and charity are responsible for the birth of special events like “Punch Out” where local brewers face off in exhibition boxing matches to raise proceeds for their favorite causes such as extending the Loveland bike trail to downtown Cincinnati and further north. “We are very into active lifestyle,” said Slattery. Fifty West is also active in their commitment to a culture of inclusion. This year’s nomination came from Starfire Council of Greater Cincinnati, an organization with a mission to decrease the social isolation of people with developmental disabilities. Starfire wants to recognize Fifty West for the overall impact they have had in the community, their commitment to inclusive hiring, and the difference they have made in the life of their employee and friend, Michael. Voters, let’s hope Fifty West keeps fighting the good fight!


Braxton Brewing Co. 

Braxton Brewing Company was born in a garage on Braxton Drive in Union, Kentucky. The Rouse family learned a lot in that space — they learned to brew and they learned some of life’s most important lessons. Of those, giving back to those in your community was a lesson that echoed through the Garage. Now, it’s in that spirit that Braxton Brewing Company continues this tradition sharing their garage with the community they’ve always loved. And with that community, Braxton’s largest initiative, Trophy Project, aims to “lift one to life”. Trophy is a single hopped pale ale, which changes quarterly, and 5% of all proceeds from Trophy sales are donated annually to a local charity.


MadTree Brewing Co. 

Who says charity can’t be fun? MadTree has lent a helping hand to numerous charities both close to its heart and to the tip of their many beards before they even opened. Now, they even encourage their patrons to tip by literally tossing a buck to charity while enjoying a pint. MadTree aims to make a bigger impact with their philanthropic efforts by focusing five core charities. MadTree works with each organization to provide support for their key initiatives throughout the year, in addition to aligning each charity to the release of one of their seasonal brews and donating a portion of the proceeds from their launch.


Christian Moerlein Brewing Co. 

Winners receive the unique, handcrafted 75 lbs. BPA trophy for one year. At the end of that year the winning brewery receives their own one of a kind hand crafted trophy made by blacksmith, artist, Chris Daniel, owner of Blue Hell Studio and current president of the Cincinnati Black Smiths Guild. We greatly appreciate his donation of time and talent to our cause.

BPA finalists receive artful trophies made by modern metal artist and sculptor, Nicolas Yust, of Yust Gallery. We are grateful to have his talent and time donated to the ToolBank in support of our mission.