Lifting spirits for veterans and first responders at craft breweries and local distilleries

There are many ways that companies and communities show their support for the brave men and women who protect our great nation. From organizing benefits and raising donations to hosting gatherings and simply saying "Thank you," these acts of kindness and generosity go a long way toward welcoming soldiers back from deployment and encouraging firefighters, police officers and other heroes to continue their efforts.

For instance, patriotic breweries and distilleries are saying thanks by crafting signature beers, whiskeys and vodkas and donating their sales for active duty military members, veterans and first responders. Other establishments provide discounts for these individuals. As craft breweries and local distilleries grow in popularity all across the country, the efforts these owners put forward demonstrate their gratitude. These are a great way to give back to soldiers, while also having some fun yourself.

Check out these companies doing their parts to lift spirits for those who serve:

Refreshing first responders

Virginia Distilling Company is one organization showing its appreciation for the heroics of local first responders, according to Nelson County Times. In April, the distillery launched the Nelson County First Responders Single Cask, with the net proceeds of sales donated to local fire and EMS crews.

Virginia Distillery CEO and Chairman Gareth Moore said they wanted to help the first responders for their work in fighting a wildfire that destroyed more than 1,500 acres in Livingston.

"There are no words to describe how thankful we are for the Nelson County first responders who assisted this past November when there was a forest fire behind the distillery," said Moore. "We're so excited that this special release will be able to benefit such an important group of people within our community and that we can give back in this way."

Another example is recently opened Loose Rail, a local brewery in Columbus, Ohio, which offers all first responders and active and former military personnel a 10 percent discount. The bar also boasts the original 48-star flag flown on the USS Compton in 1945 at the end of WWII in Tokyo Bay, which initiated Japan's formal surrender five days later.

Serving our soldiers

Just like the support shown for first responders, craft brewers and local distillers have been serving up special drinks for active duty military members and veterans.

Beer and Brewing recently highlighted 12 different breweries that have been playing a part in lifting spirits for the troops. There's Veteran Beer Co. in Chicago that donates a portion of their revenue to help veterans while also employing them. Gettysburg's Battlefield Brew Works's Red Circle Ale provides children of Special Operators with enrichment scholarships and the emergency gap funding for injured soldiers and their families.

For cocktail afficionados, Warrior Vodka uses revenue to provide monetary grants to disabled veterans wounded in combat. Jonathan Jans, an injured veteran himself, partnered with Mid Oak Distillery, the makers of CD Vodka on Chicago's Southside, and launched the line of vodkas to help those who sacrificed for our country.

With all that active duty military members, veterans and first responders sacrifice to keep us safe, it's great to see breweries and distillers providing grants, savings and other financial and moral support for these groups.