The craft beverage industry, mental health, and a charity intersect in coloring book Durango-based communications collective releases adult coloring book

by Nick Gonzales

The Venn diagram of fans of adult coloring books and devotees of Colorado’s craft beverage industry has to have a high degree of overlap. Drinking beer and whiskey, and coloring both — at the very least — feels therapeutic.

And now there’s a coloring book aimed right at that overlap.

RadCraft, a Durango-based communications collective that provides support to breweries, distilleries, maltsters, and the like, has released the RadCraft Industry Relief Coloring Book. The digital download features groovy images based on 13 of the company’s partners, including Ska Brewing Co. and Pagosa Brewing Co.

With the onset of the pandemic, RadCraft began hosting a series of Zoom chats between people in the beverage industry. Over time, founder Emily Hutto said, people expressed an interest in finding a way to give back to the community.

“That’s how the idea of this coloring book came about,” she said. “Mental health is a topic of conversation a lot on the Zoom chats, and coloring provides a lot of relief in that mental health space. And it’s also just something to do and a way to be creative.”

The resulting Coloring book was drawn by RadCraft content coordinator Shelby Martin, and its illustrations are based on the style associated with each brewery depicted.

“I tried to capture sort of the aesthetic of each brewery,” she said. “I just tried to make sure that each page belonged to the brewery that it belonged to.”

Some of the artist’s favorite pages include one representing San Diego’s Karl Strauss Brewing Co., one of the few non-Colorado breweries represented in the book (which looks to us like it would make an amazing blacklight poster), and Eagle’s Bonfire Brewing, which has an aesthetic that is both sleek and rustic, she said. (The Bonfire page has a stained-glass quality to it that someone might have fun with.)

When it came time to decide what cause to support with the cookbook, the group chose the James Beard Foundation’s Open For Good Campaign, Hutto said. The campaign provides support for independent and community-focused restaurants across the country.

“It’s been an incredibly challenging year for the independent food and beverage industry which employs over 11 million people nationwide,” said Kris Moon, chief operating officer of the James Beard Foundation in an email. “After the pandemic hit, the Foundation quickly directed all of our resources to helping the industry to survive this crisis. We are only able to continue that work thanks to the generous contributions of partners such as RadCraft.”

Hutto said that by supporting restaurants, breweries and distilleries are indirectly supporting themselves.

“Ultimately, it’s so important that we all help each other,” she said. “I think that this conversation of beer and beverages goes bigger into the hospitality community. So I was delighted to see that our network saw that big picture and wanted to help out from a broad span — without restaurants, breweries and distilleries can’t do a lot of their work.”

If coloring brewery and distillery logos while supporting a good cause strikes your fancy, you can find the RadCraft Industry Relief Coloring Book available for download on Issuu. The cost of the book is $5.50. Fifty cents of that is a processing fee, and the rest goes to the James Beard Foundation, Hutto said. If you download, print out, and color the pages, Hutto encourages you to share your art with the #radcraftindustryrelief hashtag on social media.

Nick Gonzales


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