Brewing event supports local brands

In college, drinking is rarely thought of as a productive way to spend time, as charity or as a positive contribution to society. But with the upcoming Tap, Cheer & Give Festival that will hit Santa Monica this Saturday, it is all of the above. At the festival, which is also open to those under 21, the best of locally-produced craft beer and music will be celebrated as innovative, cause-supporting brands that are making positive impacts on their community are simultaneously featured.

Beer we are now, entertain us · USC alumna Nicole Gordillo Schimpf has organized multiple brewery-centered events that blend the arts and giving back to the community, including BAM (pictured above).  - Photos courtesy of Bernie Wire

Beer we are now, entertain us · USC alumna Nicole Gordillo Schimpf has organized multiple brewery-centered events that blend the arts and giving back to the community, including BAM (pictured above). – Photos courtesy of Bernie Wire

Not only are the brands involved supporting various social causes, but when attendees purchase a ticket they also select a cause to which 10 percent of the proceeds from that ticket will go.

Though nearly all of the participants in the festival are local, founder and principal Nicole Gordillo Schimpf a USC alumna, said that she considered different factors when it came to selecting the breweries versus the brands involved.

“I really focused on trying to incorporate some well-known, Los Angeles-based craft breweries, along with some newer startup craft breweries,” Gordillo Schimpf said. “These are breweries that might not necessarily have a full-blown brewery, but they’re working at another location and they’re producing craft beer, but on a much smaller scale. I wanted it to be a blend of some of the big guys and some of the newer guys.”

When it came to the brands, Gordillo Schimpf said she sought a wide array of charitable causes that were being supported.

“I wanted to have the causes that those brands are supporting be diverse,” Gordillo Schimpf said. “Would-Works deals with homelessness, This Bar Saves Lives deals with malnutrition and hunger issues, Surfrider Foundation is more environmental and SOLO Eyewear provides eye care for people in need, so that’s more humanitarian.”

Gordillo Schimpf said she also wanted to ensure that the brands selected were able to create a product or market themselves in a way that was related to the general arts and culture environment of the festival.

“I wanted what they were selling to be something that would appeal to attendees as well,” Gordillo Schimpf said. “Solo Eye has some really funky, really cool bamboo glasses they sell, which I thought would be perfect. Omniscience Apparel sells really hip T-shirts with photos of different environments on them. Would-Works is creating a special bottle opener for the event. It’s an opportunity for those brands to gain exposure and to sell their products and grow their company and hopefully make more money for the causes that they support.”

For those less informed about the scientific process behind brewing craft beer, Tap, Cheer & Give will also offer short courses to provide some background for newcomers.

“Another really interesting feature that’s being highlighted at this event that makes it a little bit different is that we also are doing what is called crash courses,” Gordillo Schimpf said. “Those are short, 20-minute educational courses on everything from how to sample a beer, to how to properly order a craft beer, to how to brew a really great cup of coffee.”

In addition to having produced culture and artisan food and drink events for eight years, including events such as Pasadena’s Art Night, Gordillo Schimpf also curates the Beer, Arts, and Musical Festival, which is approaching its fifth year of operation.

“I produce many other festivals, one of them being BAM fest in October, which is an annual festival that has over 40 breweries … [BAM] is similar to Tap, Cheer & Give because it differs in that it incorporates craft breweries, but it also incorporates open artist studios and an open art gallery that people get to explore, as well as four live bands and DJs … The focus is really highlighting art.” Gordillo Schimpf said that because the festival has so much to offer in addition to serving alcohol, such as music, a photo booth and gourmet food trucks, these types of events attract attendees both young and old, creating both an open and diverse demographic.

“There are a lot of people who attend the event who are brewers or craft beer writers, so they’re experts in the field. But the atmosphere is really casual and fun, and people end up meeting and talking with each other, so it’s definitely for all ages, all walks of life and all levels of knowledge about beer.”


Tap, Cheer & Give will take place this Saturday, March 29 between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased through