Big Grove Brewery opens grant applications on Giving Tuesday

Brewery plans to award grants to Polk, Johnson, and Linn County nonprofits

Big Grove Brewery logo

Big Grove Brewery is awarding six grants totaling $48,000 to nonprofits in Polk, Johnson and Linn counties, now until Dec. 31, 2023. Recipients will be selected on Feb. 15, 2024.

Grant donations play an important role in Big Grove for Good’s philanthropy program, since they help remove barriers that some community members face.

Maintaining ongoing partnerships with local non-profit organizations has been a distinctive approach adopted by Big Grove for giving back. Since its establishment in Solon more than a decade ago, the brewery has prioritized “providing direct support to our communities and assisting the individuals who contribute to our business,” said Doug Goettsch, Big Grove co-founder. Currently, the brewery’s main principles of philanthropy center around environmental initiatives, promoting equity and equality, and supporting neighborhood nonprofits located near its taprooms.

Choose Iowa brunch fundraiser.
Choose Iowa brunch fundraiser. CREDIT BIG GROVE BREWERY

“Big Grove wants to be in our communities serving up delicious brews and food while also being a force for social good,” said Lindsey Rawson Van Wyk, the Des Moines community coordinator for Big Grove. Des Moines was the brewery’s third location, opening in 2022, and the following year the first grant program was launched.

“This allowed Big Grove to make meaningful contributions and continue support with volunteering and ongoing connection,” said Ms. Van Wyk.

Ronald McDonald House volunteering.
Ronald McDonald House volunteering. CREDIT BIG GROVE BREWERY

Last year, Big Grove received 40 applications from nonprofits in Polk and Johnson counties, and awarded four $8,000 grants to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Iowa, Central Iowa Shelter Services, Iowa City’s Free Lunch Program, and Iowa City Coralville (ICOR) Boxing Club.

“We look forward to extending the program to Linn County in 2024,” said Mikala Demet, Big Grove eastern Iowa community manager. Staff at Big Grove are encouraged to volunteer on selection committees and later, with the selected organizations.

“Our grant program is an intentional and meaningful process for our staff and the communities we serve,” said Ms. Demet. Charities that demonstrate how the donation will have a direct impact or are in the process of establishing their own nonprofit initiatives are provided special consideration.

To learn how the four recipients from 2023 used their grant funding, head to

Big Grove Brewery is among Iowa’s top craft beer producers and ranks in the top 3% for barrel production nationally. In 2013, the brewery started as a 3.5-barrel brewhouse in Solon, Iowa, and focused on freshly made craft beer and elevated pub cuisine. The brewery now operates three taproom locations in Iowa. Big Grove has received multiple craft brewing medals, including a gold medal for Easy Eddy, its flagship Hazy IPA, Citrus Surfer Fruited Wheat and most recently, a Great American Beer Festival (GABF) 2023 silver medal for Festbier, a Bavarian-style Märzen.