Within the craft beer community, brewers are often getting involved in charitable causes among their local communities. One cause gaining the attention of craft brewers is assisting active and retired veterans and their families.
In New England, Dave Pappas is working with local breweries to craft limited releases in the hopes of raising awareness and giving back to veterans through the Black Ale Project. While running his own personal beer blog, Pappas, a former Marine and non-combat veteran of the Persian Gulf War, figured it was time to give back.
“I just couldn’t watch news clips and read articles about the struggles of fellow veterans without doing something to help,” Pappas said.
The Black Ale Project isn’t a charitable foundation, rather it is an idea to get brewers involved in supporting veterans. Each month, a different brewery brews and releases their own Black Ale Project beer. So far, eight breweries have each released a unique creation and many more have signed on through early 2018.
“My beer blog allowed me to meet so many kind and caring people in the craft beer community over the years, and I knew they would want to help if given the opportunity,” said Pappas. “The Black Ale Project was created to give that opportunity to brewers.”
Of the eight breweries involved so far, numbers are in for five of them and over the course of five months, nearly $13,000 has been raised in the name of charity.
Medusa Brewing Co. (Hudson, MA) raised and donated $7,095 to the New England Center and Home for Veterans, Wormtown Brewery (Worcester, MA) raised and donated $3,000 to Veterans Inc., Stone Cow Brewery (Barre, MA) raised and donated $1,047 to the Boston chapter of Pets for Vets, Good Measure Brewing Co. (Northfield, VT) raised and donated $500 to The Veteran’s Place, and Prohibition Pig (Watebury, VT) also raised and donated $1,043 to The Veteran’s Place.
Other breweries to release Black Ale Project brews include Idletyme Brewing Co. (Stowe, VT), who will donate proceeds towards veterans dealing with brain injuries and cognitive issues and 14th Star Brewing Co. (St. Albans, VT), who will donate to Purple Hearts United. Lost Nation Brewing (Morrisville, VT) and Exhibit “A” Brewing Co. (Framingham, MA) are currently barrel-aging their own contributions to the project.
The latest batch, The Bravest, was the invention of Castle Island Brewing Co. (Norwood, MA) and is an “All American Dry Stout” (4.3% ABV). A limited run of the beer was canned and sold exclusively out of the taproom. Proceeds from The Bravest will benefit Building for America’s Bravest, a program of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation that builds smart homes for disabled veterans returning home with catastrophic injuries.
Dozens of veteran-owned breweries continue to pour into the national craft beer market and manage to balance raising awareness and funds for veterans in need while also serving up quality craft beer.
Breweries such as 14th Star Brewing Co., Veteran Beer Co., Red Leg Brewing Co., Veterans United Craft Brewery, Mad Bomber Brewing Co., Service Brewing and a growing number of others are owned and operated by veterans from all branches of the U.S. armed forces. These breweries often donate money to various veteran-based charities while also providing employment for their fellow vets.
Be sure to raise a glass to all the veterans that have served our country, and raise a second one to those who filled that glass.