Beer and brewing aren’t the only things the Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company is keeping up on: The restaurant and brewery is also busy ensuring bright futures for local kids. As a longstanding supporter of the Wisconsin Book Festival, Great Dane President Eliot Butler said the programming reflects his business’s philanthropic philosophy and is vital for the Madison community.

Having served on the oversight committee for the festival in its early years, Butler has played an integral part in sustaining local child-centered organizations that support reading skills and access to books.

“The Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company believes that children represent our future, so local child-related organizations have always been the focus of our corporate giving program,” said Butler, who also headed Madison Children’s Museum’s board of directors in the years leading up to the move to its Capitol Square location in 2010.

When Madison Public Library Foundation assumed responsibility for funding the Wisconsin Book Festival in 2013, Butler said the Great Dane was happy to continue sponsoring it.

Throughout the years, the Great Dane has taken an interest in authors and topics that intrigue and inspire young people, including the High School Friday festival programs. It’s always excited when the festival includes books related to craft beer. The Great Dane hosted two festival events throughout the years that related to brewing beer or incorporating it into recipes.

In 2013, “beer author” John Holl visited the Great Dane to talk about his newest book, The American Craft Beer Cookbook, and in 2014 it welcomed Sean Lewis, who discussed his book We Make Beer alongside local brewers from the Great Dane, Wisconsin Brewing Company and Lake Louie Brewing.

Butler said he enjoyed hosting these Wisconsin Book Festival events because they “provoked stimulating and educational discussions about the history and heritage of beer making in Madison and Wisconsin.”