Sparge Brewing, in Wellington, Colorado, is a Veteran Owned Business. Owner Rich Efird gave 20 years of service, starting as an Airborne Paratrooper and retiring as a Warrant Officer in 2009. Rich continued on his career path post-retirement, and in June of 2019, after an interesting turn of events, he and his wife Leslie opened a brewery.

Rich carried his values as a veteran into his brewery. He supports local, is loyal to his community, and appreciates when active duty service members come in for a visit. “Stay safe out there, brother,” are words often passed along with the beer. Active veterans and first responders get a 20% discount at Sparge Brewing.

Shortly before the pandemic hit, Rich started a beer club for veterans. The pandemic halted meetings and led to adding first responders to the club. Now, the Sparge Veteran & First Responders Beer Club meets on the last Wednesday of every month. Veterans, active duty and reservists, guards, first responders, and their spouses get together for some fun, camaraderie, and beer. May 26 will be the fifth month running. Meetings are held from 6 pm to 8 pm at the brewery, with the first half of the meeting set aside for guest speakers and club business.

Beer club isn’t just about beer and connecting. It is also an opportunity for members to share resources, support, and give back to the community. The club plans to do four service projects a year, with the first one underway. Club members join forces, muscles, and trades to help those in need in the Wellington community. They decide on projects by vote and have found an overwhelming amount of support through member and business donations of time and materials. The club is looking for Wellington-based service project ideas, so reach out to Rich if you know of a need.

Sparge Brewing’s support of the Wellington community reaches beyond the Veteran & First Responders Beer Club. They are starting a nonprofit organization called ‘Spargetoberfest’ that will help raise funds for projects and causes around Wellington. The goal is to have three fundraising events a year; a food truck rally, a music event, and a 5K. Each event will benefit different Wellington-based nonprofits and include local businesses and talent.

The next Spargetoberfest event is September 18, a 5K with food trucks and music. Proceeds will go to the American Legion of Wellington and the Wellington-Waverly Kiwanis Club to help with projects and activities for youth and veterans in Wellington. The committee is looking for sponsors.

Sparge Brewing is a Veteran owned business. To Rich, this means giving priority to supporting the local community, creating a space for people to gather and connect, and doing what he can to help those in need have the opportunity to receive. It means honoring those who serve our country and helping our youth have equal access to recreational activities. Bonus, he has a talent for making good beer!

If you are interested in joining the Sparge Veteran & First Responder Beer Club, reach out to Rich or show up at the brewery on the third Wednesday of the month. If you have an idea for a Wellington-based service project or want to get involved with Spargetoberfest, let Rich know. Please stop by the bar or email him at rich@spargebrew.com.

Sparge Brewing is located at 3999 GW Bush Ave, Unit 101, Wellington, CO. Find them at spargebrew.com, follow them on Facebook and Instagram, and reach out info@spargebrew.com.

Thank YOU for your service, Rich!

Photo Courtesy of Sparge Brewing

Originally Published in North Forty News