Beer Makes It Better

Giving back to the community is always more fun with good company — even better if you have some pizza and beer to go along. The Austin Beer Garden Brewing Company (fondly referred to as The ABGB) brings all of those excellent elements together with The Hell Yes Project, their philanthropic effort to give back to local nonprofits in a variety of ways.

Even before The ABGB opened its doors in 2013, the beer garden’s founders knew they would create a business that not only served local patrons, but local causes. “The idea of being able to help other people was super important to us when we started this company,” says co-owner Mark Jensen. “It started out as a passion project, and it continues to be one.”

Their efforts show that they are passionate about giving back. There are a multitude of Hell Yes Project activities on The ABGB’s calendar each month, centered mostly around onsite volunteering at nonprofits or events at the brewery that benefit a charitable cause. Some of the biggest in-house events from the past year include The Mardi Gras Dog Parade (benefiting Pug Rescue Austin), A Night of Straight Country (benefiting The SIMS Foundation), Sweet Barks (benefiting Austin Pets Alive!) and Freddie for a Day (benefiting AIDS Services of Austin).

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“We also give 5 percent of yearly proceeds to these nonprofit partners in the community, so we're contributing in a lot of different ways,” says Millie Clark, events and production manager for The ABGB. “It definitely resonates with me to work in a place that really does give so much back, for such a small business to be making such a large impact on the community.”

It’s nearly impossible to list the numerous events and nonprofits that The Hell Yes Project supports in one go, due to the sheer number. Some of their more regular volunteer opportunities include builds with Habitat for Humanity, Barton Springs pool cleanings and “Volunbeer” Nights at Central Texas Food Bank.

If you’re curious about their philanthropy, Jensen says the best way to experience it is to get involved. “There are some people out there who truly wear invisible halos, who are great examples of people who joined our Hell Yes Project events and now go to all of them,” he says.

In addition to the warmhearted feeling one gets after giving back to the community, Clark puts the perks of helping out with The Hell Yes Project simply: “You can have fun, you can drink beer and you can do good. Those things all go hand in hand.”

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By Darby Kendall • Photography courtesy of The ABGB