Movies with a view: Clips Beer and Film tour at Gas Works Park. Image via Nature Consortium.

Nothing inspires people to help their community like movies and beer. At least, that was Colorado brewing company New Belgium’s philosophy four years ago when it launched the Clips Beer and Film Tour, an annual showcase of short films and craft beers that travels the country raising money for local nonprofits. The tour returns to Seattle this Friday, and its lineup of 18 films is its largest yet, nearly doubling last year's offerings. Seems like 18 is the lucky number: that’s also how many beers will be on tap, including popular New Belgium lines Fat Tire and Ranger IPA, along with a few tastes unique to the Seattle show. Three-ounce samples and 12-ounce pours will be available.

Normally, when you sit in a park at night drinking beer, you’re considered a loiterer, says Jesse Claeys, one of the event’s organizers. “When Clips Beer and Film Tour comes to town, you’re considered a philanthropist.”

Like it has in the past, the beer sales from the Seattle stopover will go to the Nature Consortium, a grassroots organization that supports art and nature education. The consortium hopes to raise $10,000 this year, said marketing manager Monica Thomas, with proceeds supporting free art classes for low-income youth, as well as the restoration of the West Duwamish Greenbelt, Seattle’s largest forest.

“The films and the beers draw so much attention that the charity and sustainability of this event are often overlooked, but nonetheless important,” Claeys said.

Speaking of films and beer: New Belgium seeks out everything from animated shorts to environmental documentaries for its move night. Audiences vote on which films they like best after each stop of the 21-city tour. So far this year’s two highest-rated movies are Cascadia, about kayaking jungle waterfalls, and The Joy of Air, which edits together aerial stunts by a range of extreme-sport athletes. Seattle native Fitz Cahall, who wrote the poetry accompanying The Joy of Air, will be in attendance.

Clips Beer and Film Tour
July 26 at 8pm, Gas Works Park, screenings start at sunset
3-oz samples $1.25; 12-oz pours $5

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