We’ve all experienced a case of the Mondays. Often they're an unpleasant reminder that it is no longer the weekend. For Call To Arms Brewing Company (CTA), a locally-based brewery on Tennyson Street, they can't wait for Mondays. Why? Because the brewery is bustling with vendors, customers, and staff lining up to grab their latest CSA package.
For those unfamiliar with CSA, it stands for community supported agriculture. These programs allow consumers to receive produce and other seasonal goods directly from farmers in the community. According to Local Harvest, an organization that facilitates the connection between farmers and consumers and provides online resources, CSAs have been gaining in popularity for the past 25 years.
CTA’s CSA was established in 2016 as a way to fulfill the brewery’s mission of quality, community, and camaraderie. Unlike typical programs, Chris Bell, co-owner of CTA, decided to incorporate artisan goods into his CSA as a way to expand his support of local businesses. “We wanted to share the wealth,” explains Chris. “Our vendors are small business owners that are friends of the brewery; the entire program grew organically.”
Call To Arm’s weekly offering incorporates seasonal produce from Groundwork Denver, a loaf of bread from Raleigh Street Bakery, and different cuts of meat from Colorado Craft Butchers. The items vary from week to week which adds an element of surprise for customers. Whether it’s lemon cucumbers and pattypan squash fresh from the farm, a 'still-warm from the oven' loaf of sunflower rye, or a beautifully marbled, locally-sourced ribeye steak, everyone is in for a real treat.
As far as the future of the CSA is concerned, Chris has high hopes. “We’d love to eventually have a parking lot full of local vendors.” To help in accomplishing this goal, CTA is debuting a new pay per month model this fall; this will replace the summer program that required a 12-week pre-paid commitment. Chris hopes that this will encourage more participation from customers since it’s less of an upfront cost.
If you’re interested in participating in the fall CSA or would like to become a vendor, stop by the brewery and chat with Chris or taproom manager Bissy Gaudiano. CTA is always open to adding new members and expanding its support of small businesses in the Denver community.
About Call To Arms
Call to Arms Brewing Company was founded by the three fellas: Jesse Brookstein, Jon Cross, and Chris Bell. Like so many friends you meet later in life, the three of us struck up a friendship while partaking in a shared passion – in this case, brewing, cellaring, and packaging beer at Avery Brewing Company in Boulder, CO. And as is also the case with friends you meet as adults, we each come from fairly different backgrounds. Chris and Jesse are northeasterners, from Connecticut and upstate New York respectively, and Jon is a Coloradoan born and raised in Denver.
It’s these very backgrounds (both personally and professionally) that have shaped us into the people we are today, and with Call to Arms we plan to blend the cultures of the northeast with those of Colorado in a way that focuses strongly on a love of local, traditional food and drink to create a timeless, moody, neighborhood-friendly brewery focusing on craft beers, artisan provisions, and community awareness.
About Groundwork Denver/Sister Gardens of Aria
Groundwork Denver is a local nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the physical environment and promote health and well-being through community-based partnerships and action. We plant trees, we improve parks, we clean up rivers and the air, we insulate houses, we promote biking, we grow food, and we coordinate hundreds of volunteers to help. Our work supports the growth and development of local environmental leaders, promotes inclusive community development and ensures equal access to a clean and healthy environment for everyone.
Sister Gardens at Aria is a part of the Groundwork Denver Urban Farms program, which focuses on improving the connections between farm, table, food, and health. Not only does Sister Gardens grow organic produce and herbs to sell to the community, it also hosts a variety of “pay-what-you-can” urban agriculture classes such as a herbalism series which covers herbs as foods and medicines, salve making, and more. Sister Gardens houses beehives, which are used to help the community become stronger beekeepers through our beekeeping class series, donates produce to social service organizations through Groundwork Denver’s Healing Foods program, and hosts volunteer events.
About Raleigh Street Bakery
Raleigh Street Bakery is a cottage food artisanal bakery in Denver, Colorado helmed by David Kaminer. He is proud to join a cohort of bakers that have been providing their community with real food made with three simple ingredients: flour, water and salt. All of our breads are naturally leavened and made with organic ingredients and freshly milled whole grain flour. Raleigh Street Bakery's bread can be found at local markets around town or available for purchase at the bakery on Fridays.
about colorado craft butchers
Colorado Craft Butchers specializes in custom processing and distribution of Wagyu beef and heritage breed pigs. We source all of our meat from the Denver area and process everything by hand, catering to specific needs and discerning palates of professional chefs and enthusiastic at-home cooks. We are proud to have an exclusive relationship with our ranchers. We are committed to only serving the best. All the Wagyu beef we carry has been specifically selected for texture, marbling, flavor and tenderness. All of our meat is farm-raised, antibiotic-free. hormone-free, and dry-aged.