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Edmonton breweries serve up hot treats and cold brews for a good cause

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Local breweries in Edmonton are finding unique ways to give back this holiday season.

Darren McGeown of Arcadia Brewing in Manchester Square is visiting shelters and encampments to hand out snacks and hot chocolate.

McGeown says support from the community has helped keep his business open, so it's important to give back.

"With the growing encampments here in our city, I thought it was a lot more important to be going out there showing the support," he told CTV News Edmonton.

"A human interaction with community members."

He says the response has been heartwarming.

"It just means a lot more to some people. To know that people are going down there and showing that they care and that they're loved."

McGeown says he's already received donations of food, hot chocolate, and supplies to make the initiative happen, and he's encouraging other community members to donate too.

"If you don't have time to come down here, here's a donation for buying some hot chocolate and for some cups, or here's some baked goods, or I can do some sandwiches."

"Without people, you're nothing. I just hope everyone takes the charge this year. I know money's tight for everyone, but there's more than just donations. There's shown support."

On the other side of the city, Town Square Brewing Co. in the Ellerslie area has come up with a special beer to benefit a local non-profit group.

Co-owner Brandon Boutin says he was approached by the Canadian Ski Patrol Edmonton Zone to help fundraise for their group.

"They're volunteer ski patrols that go out to all the mountains and all the local ski hills and volunteer their time," he told CTV News Edmonton. "So they're looking to raise some proceeds to be able to keep doing what they're doing."

Boutin says the brewery is known for its unique brewing creations, so the partnership was a great fit.

"We love to make new products, that's kind of more of our reputation is always one offs, keep rotating, keep experimenting, and having fun. So it definitely fits within our wheelhouse."

"It is an honour that they did pick us."

He says the beer, named "Avalanche Avenger Juicy Pale Ale," was designed to be a beer for everyone.

"We also want to make a beer that wasn't going to inebriate somebody after one beer, they can actually enjoy a couple."

"This one comes in at 5.5 per cent alcohol. We designed it to obviously be approachable, safe, and it's very sessionable."

Town Square will donate 10 per cent of the revenue from the beer to the ski patrol group.

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Sean McClune 

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