Use your right to drink to support your even more important rights.
Credit: Courtesy of Threes Brewing

On July 4, Americans will celebrate our country’s independence—as well as all of the unalienable rights, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, that came with it. For nearly 100 years, the American Civil Liberties Union has been fighting to protect those individual rights and liberties, and this Fourth of July, you’ll be able to toast a brew with a portion of the proceeds going to support the ACLU’s work.

People Power is a recently launched ACLU initiative billed as the organization’s “grassroots army” in an effort to take the fight for civil liberties and rights “into the streets.” Now, People Power Beer intends to bring that movement into breweries around the country as well. As the People Power Beer website states, “We invite other brewers to join us in protecting the most vulnerable in our society by taking this pledge and brewing their own interpretation of People Power beer and donating 10% to the ACLU. The outcome will be a nationwide cornucopia of brews, designs, events and other inspired activations.”

Though the project is credited to “a federation of brewers,” the original idea stems from Josh Stylman, co-founder of Brooklyn’s Threes Brewing, and the rest of his team. “[We] helped organize the community of brewers to participate but it’s a shared project co-owned by every brewery that signs on,” Stylman told us via email. “We’ve been so excited to see such enthusiasm from other breweries, and we hope that they’ll each take up the idea and run with it, to create whatever brews (as well as supporting events, activations etc.) they’d like in support of the ACLU.”

As of this writing, 29 breweries have already joined the campaign—from other beloved NYC brewers like Finback, Interboro, and KCBC, to places as far away as Alvarado Street in Monterey, California, and Cloudburst in Seattle, Washington, as well as the internationally recognized Mikkeller. Who else and how many more breweries will join in is anybody’s guess.

“Candidly, we didn't know what to expect,” Stylman continues. “We don't have hard goals on the sheer numbers of breweries but we're thrilled with the result. Even in the past day since we officially announced People Power Beer, three more have signed up (shout out to Icarus in Lakewood, NJ, Community Beer Works in Buffalo, NY, and Aeronaut Brewing Co. in Somerville, MA). Not only are we happy about the fact that there are almost 30 breweries committed at this point, but we're delighted to see that we've got 15 different states represented. At this stage, we're hoping this can catch on in the coming weeks now that we've announced it publicly.... the sky is the limit.”

The plan is to have all of these diverse breweries launching their different People Power beers on July 4 and making them available through to Election Day on November 6 “in conjunction with the ACLU’s ‘Let People Vote’ People Power campaign, which is working to expand access to the ballot in all 50 states.”

In the case of Threes’ interpretation of People Power, the brewery has already released can art showing that their beer will be a Pilsner. But part of the fun of this project will be seeing all the different styles that these breweries choose to make. As Stylman puts it, “Part of the idea is that breweries will express themselves in whatever way best represents their own ethos. Like any ground up movement, People Power beer will come in many styles (and, flavors!).”