Veteran-owned craft breweries from across the country met during the Craft Brewers Conference this year. Their mission? To select the hops that would become the Veterans Hop Blend.
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The participating breweries crushed, rubbed and sniffed varieties of hops that made up this year’s version.
A few months later, during hop harvest, the same group of brewers met at Bale Breaker Brewing in Yakima, Washington, to brew a test batch of beer with that special hop blend.
This Veterans Day, look for brewers all over the country to be featuring beers that showcase the blend. Proceeds of the beers will go toward Veteran-centric charities.
The annual hop blend creation was led by hop supplier, Yakima Chief Hops (YCH), and proceeds from the sale of the blend will go to support the Semper Fi Fund. The Semper Fi Fund provides financial assistance and support to post-9/11 wounded, critically ill and catastrophically injured service members and their families. For every pound of hop blend sold, YCH will donate $3 to the fund.
“We had the honor of participating in the selection at CBC and the test batch brew day at Bale Breaker in August,” says Kevin Ryan, CEO of Service Brewing Co. in Savannah, Georgia, and former Commander in the US Army.
The brewers agreed upon a combination of five Pacific Northwest-grown hop varieties, including Ekuanot®, Cashmere, Simcoe®, Mosaic®, and Centennial. The result is a hop blend that lends a mix of tropical, citrus and herbal hop qualities to beers.
“The Centennial is a perfect addition based on the fact that this is the 100-year anniversary of the end of WWI and the first Armistice Day, which eventually became Veterans Day,” says Ryan, who named the beer Service brewed Armistice IPA. Armistice IPA uses 5 pounds of the Veterans Hop Blend per barrel produced.
Service Brewing will combine their release of Armistice IPA with Veterans Day efforts. The brewery teamed up with other brewers to brew with the blend, as well.
“We collaborated with Orpheus, Two Tides, and Revelry to brew beers for the Moto show along with the Veterans Blend,” Ryan tells us. “We brewed an American Pilsner with white tropical tea with Two Tides, a brut IPA with Revelry, and a dark lager with Orpheus.”
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Service Brewing is currently supporting “Warrior Ride” out of Oak Island, North Carolina, and $0.25 of every pint sold will benefit Warrior Ride. They are 100 percent volunteer-driven and build bikes to support disabled veterans being active and challenged to complete their bike rides. They will also be hosting the Victory Moto Show Saturday, Nov. 10. Two dozen vintage and custom motorcycles will be on display in the brewery, along with a photography exhibit and silent auction. All funds raised will go to Warrior Ride.
Veteran-Owned Breweries Behind the Hop Blend
- Service Brewing | Savannah, GA
- Red Leg Brewing Company | Colorado Springs, CO
- Pikes Peak Brewing | Monument, CO
- Varietal Beer Co. | Sunnyside, WA
- Beer Army Foundation | New Bern, NC
- Big Beach Brewing Company | Gulf Shores, AL
- Brew day hosted by Bale Breaker Brewing Co. | Yakima, WA
Veterans Day honors service members of all branches. As beer lovers, we can provide support too. Keep an eye out for other brewers releasing beers with the blend. As fans of craft beer, the least we can do to support our veterans is have a beer.
This article originally appeared on craftbeer.com