Shit I like that you should like, too (#2)

Red Leg Brewing

Colorado Springs, CO

This post is very special to me, and I have unfortunately chosen a very crass title for this ongoing series of highlighting things I like and feel others should know more about. Imagine this one is titled, “Amazing places you should definitely go” or something like that. Also, I have no idea who reads this or where you are, but this is a place you must visit if you’re ever near Colorado Springs.

My boyfriend and I went to Colorado Springs from where we live in Denver to see a friend who will soon be deploying to Afghanistan. Since we are craft beer enthusiasts, our friend recommended that we try Red Leg Brewing. We learned pretty quickly that this was not like other breweries we had visited.

We sat down and ordered a flight. When the bartender served us our flight, she told us that a man named Wayne, who was sitting a few seats down from us, bought our flight simply because we were first-timers. I got the impression this is something Wayne does on a regular basis.

We noticed at the end of the bar, there was a construction paper Christmas tree on display labeled “Red Leg Giving Tree” with round construction paper ornaments pinned to it. Written on the ornaments were things like “police,” “first responder,” “military,” “planned parenthood employee,” and simply “someone in need of a good moment.” Patrons can buy an ornament for $5, the price of a beer, write whatever they want on it, and if someone fitting that profile comes in, they get a beer. The bartender explained that they try to get to know the people that come in and their stories.

When our friend arrived to meet us, we were informed that someone had purchased an ornament and written the words, “someone about to deploy,” specifically for him. Something we had mentioned briefly when asked what brought us to Colorado Springs, turned into a gift from a stranger. Despite my usual aversion to emotion and misanthropic attitude, I was completely overwhelmed. I actually had to excuse myself to sop up the tears that had started to emerge from my underutilized tear ducts.

This level of kindness and generosity we experienced at Red Leg is something rare and very special. In the conversations we had with people there, it was clear that the people behind the bar and the people sitting in in front of it had a shared view on life: There will always be bad guys; there will always be bad things that happen. What we can control is how we treat others. We have a choice to be kind. This establishment and their patrons do what they can to take care of their community. Whether it is a service member who is a frequent visitor or someone who drops by for a quick pint, they are taken care of in more ways than satiating their thirst for delicious craft beer. It shouldn’t need to be mentioned that Colorado Springs has not had the easiest few weeks. I commend Red Leg for being a part of the solution. The world needs people and places like this right now. They didn’t know how badly I needed to be reminded of the good in the world, but they did just that.

I left moved to share my experience. More importantly, I left thinking about how I can make someone’s day better. Spreading kindness and love is a big deal these days. Imagine if more people were like that.

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