CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (KDVR) — He gave to his country as a Black Hawk helicopter pilot in the Army during the war in Afghanistan. And he keeps on giving back to military causes. That’s why Eric Seufert has been named the FOX31 Serving Those Who Serve Hero of the Month.
From the minute you walk into his brewery, 105 West Brewing Company, you can tell it’s a place where veterans are honored. Right on the wall, you’ll find military mementos, like the helmet he wore as a pilot.
“First duty assignment was Germany. Did a deployment to the Balkans, to Kosovo, from there. A couple of deployments to Afghanistan too,” Seufert told FOX31.
No tips at this veteran-run brewery
After years of military service, he now brews, packages and sells every kind of craft beer you can imagine. And they’re a big hit with customers.
But there’s one rule at 105 West Brewing Company: You can’t tip the wait staff.
“No tips. Employees are so happy. I think it takes the stress off … you don’t want to work on Monday, because Mondays are usually a slow day. Friday and Saturday, that’s when you get all the big money, the big tips. So it just makes it kind of an even playing field,” said Katlyn Cook, taproom manager at 105 West.
If a customer does insist on leaving cash, it all goes to charity. And it turns out the customers here are very generous.
“(We) expected it to be a couple hundred dollars a month. And right off the bat, it was several thousand a month,” Seufert said.
In addition to customer donations, Seufert and his staff go above and beyond, holding fundraisers and benefits to help Colorado causes.
“We’ve been doing that since the beginning. Probably half of them are veterans-based. They’re all local charities,” Seufert said. He estimates the brewery and its customers have raised about $300,000 for charity over the last eight years.
‘I’ve never known anyone so generous’
“He donates to individuals, organizations, veterans, anyone that really needs help. And I’ve never known anyone so generous,” said Christy Wohlever, a friend and customer who nominated Seufert for the Hero of the Month honor.
Wohlever and a couple dozen friends, employees and customers were on hand and broke into applause when Seufert was handed the Hero of the Month plaque, along with a $500 Visa gift card from our Serving Those Who Serve sponsors at Ford, Adaptive Adventures and the Leo Hill Charitable Trust.
“Eric is the best boss I’ve ever had in my entire life. It’s a community and a family here,” Cook said.
To nominate a veteran or active-duty service member for our Hero of the Month honors, visit the Serving Those Who Serve nomination page.