Every Memorial Day Weekend, Veterans Day and July 4th, I put out my decorative American flags on the lawn to flap in the wind and remind everyone what these holidays are really about. It’s not just about time off work and backyard picnics with burgers and hot dogs (although we enjoy all of that because we live in a free nation). I reflect on the many freedoms we often take for granted in the great U.S.A. We enjoy freedom of speech which I take advantage of on a regular basis writing about craft beer and all things related to the industry. I can say whatever it is I want to say without fear of being arrested or prosecuted.
Just look at all the back and forth between your Republican and Democratic friends on Facebook over the last presidential race. Lots of freedom of speech going on there as they posted their opinion or forwarded propaganda masquerading as fact! But I digress.
Another freedom I love so much – We can drink that wonderful beverage called BEER free of any type of prohibition laws. Glug. Glug. Glug! Mmmm. Delicious.
Let’s face it. Living in a free country is pretty spectacular all around. I could go on and on about all the freedoms we enjoy here in the U.S. that folks in other countries aren’t so fortunate to have. And, we owe it all to the women and men who fought for our independence and those who continue to fight to defend our country. Much love, thanks and respect to them all!
With that in mind, I’d like to highlight and applaud those breweries who are veteran owned. They’ve popped up all over our country from coast to coast. They’ve opened for varying reasons. Some returned from active duty and had difficulty finding work or transitioning back into civilian life. So they carved their own path in the ever-growing craft beer industry. Some retired from the military and found they loved to spend their time brewing – a hobby now turned business. Then, there are those veterans who served their time and wanted to raise awareness for the men and women in our military. Many of the veteran owned breweries that I’m familiar with make donations or hold fundraisers to give back to U.S. veterans who are in need.
Here’s a handful of Veteran Owned Breweries in the U.S. for you to check out and support:
Tattered Flag Brewery & Still Works (Pennsylvania)
“As a veteran owned and operated business, the focus is simple – to give back to the communities around us while providing a one-of-a-kind experience. Come Raise a Flag with us! A tattered flag is not just a worn piece of cloth… it has experience and character. Threadbare and frayed, it still represents the ideals and beliefs of those who stand behind it, constantly seeking excellence, success, and the achievement of those goals with honor. At Tattered Flag, we live by this.”
Backward Flag Brewing (New Jersey)
“Veteran owned brewery focused on quality, community and educating a new generation of craft beer lovers.
“Our logo is based on the backward American flag worn on the right sleeve of American Soldiers. It is a flag that all three founders of Backward Flag Brewing have worn proudly for many years. The history of the flag dates back to the days of soldiers charging forward on the battle field, among them was a flag bearer who courageously carried the stars and stripes into the chaos, as he moved forward the flag flew ‘backward’. Today this flag is commonly used by soldiers, police, firemen and rescue personnel. Cheers to us and those like us!”
Veteran Beer Company (Chicago)
“We were founded to get Vets back to work and help them start in again after leaving the military.
So a big chunk of our revenues go to Vets. And each area of our company and supply chain employ Veterans.”
14th Star Brewing Company (Vermont)
“14th Star Brewing started as a daydream in the mountains of Eastern Afghanistan. While deployed overseas, soldiers have plenty of time to contemplate two things: Beer and getting out of the Army. Steve and his buddies were doing just that in 2010 when the idea came to the long-time homebrewers: Why not open a brewery, preparing for the day we can retire from the Army? While new to the brewing industry, 14th Star understands that it is a small part of a proud craft brewing community in Vermont and of the Vermont artisan community as a whole. We strive to uphold the craftsmanship, attention to detail, balanced flavor, and hometown responsibility that are the hallmarks of the Vermont craft scene.”
1st Republic Brewing Company (Vermont)
COMING SOON – Opening August 2016
“Two Vermont guys and a dream equals the Green Mountains’ newest veteran owned craft brewery. Owners/Brewers: Kevin Jarvis and Shawn Trout are friends and military veterans that came together with one dream; to craft the finest original beers for all to appreciate. 1st Republic Brewing Co. has deep Vermont roots and represents the heart and soul of the hardworking people of this great state.”
Service Brewing Company (Georgia)
“We are a veteran-owned and operated craft brewery in Savannah, GA dedicated to honoring those that have put their lives at risk and their country and community first. At Service Brewing, we love the craft and creativity behind every beer and we’re honored by the opportunity to share it with our patrons. As we launch a new beer each season, we focus our tasting room fundraising efforts to assist charities that support our country’s service men and women and first responders.”
Honor Brewing Company (Virginia)
“With every Honor pint poured, with every sip savored, you’re contributing to causes directly dedicated to improving the lives of our veterans and their families. Raise a glass of Honor brews and you’re enjoying craft beer at its best. Even more, you’re making a difference in the lives of our nation’s soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen.”
Young Veterans Brewing Company (Virginia)
“Vet Noise events are held one Sunday of each month at Young Veterans Brewing Company in Virginia Beach, VA. Vet Noise is an event where Veterans and supporters get together to drink GREAT beer, enjoy offerings from a local food trucks, play corn hole and other games and listen to local musicians. We also have raffles and door prize drawings where ALL proceeds go to the Veteran charity of the month.”
Heritage Brewing Company (Virginia)
“A UNIQUELY AMERICAN BREWERY. 1% of every pint goes to charity.
We are a veteran owned and operated microbrewery in Manassas, VA. As veterans and patriots, we find that we owe it to our patrons to only produce the finest beer made with the best ingredients with the same level of attention to detail and passion that we brought to serving our country.
We use American sourced ingredients and Organic base malts.”
Red Leg Brewing Company (Colorado)
“SERVING THOSE WHO SERVE. Red Leg Brewing Company is a Veteran owned production brewery in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Our unique name is derived from the Civil War battlefields, where artillery soldiers wore a cardinal stripe on their pant leg to denote their location on the field of battle.
Red Leg provides the highest quality craft beer to honor the men and women who currently and formerly served in The United States Military. The craft beers that leave our facility will have the reputation that we strive for, continuing our service by providing those who serve with a craft beer they can be proud of.”
Veterans United Craft Brewing (Florida)
“Ron, a former Naval Flight Officer, headed a motley group of military veterans sharing an enthusiastic desire for producing and enjoying premium craft beer and formed Veterans United Craft Brewery in 2013.”
Fult Tilt Brewing Company (Maryland)
“Full Tilt Brewing owners and cousins Nick Fertig and Dan Baumiller were a world apart but connected by their passion for good beer. It was that year that each independently started looking into home brewing. Nick, while serving in the U.S. Navy and, Dan, working in acquisitions for the Department of Defense began researching the possibilities of entrepreneurship through brewing beer.”
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