So many things to catch up on, including trying to get a clue as to where Surly Brewing will first pour when it returns to Chicago in a few weeks. But I cannot let this particular day pass without at least mentioning this new company.
Veteran Beer Company officially launched this Veterans Day, with a sampling at the Veterans Day celebration hosted by the USO of Illinois in the Great Hall of Union Station. As you might guess, this new Chicago-based brand is a "brew with a purpose," like Fireman's Brew and Homefront IPA. The plan for the veteran-owned company is to help out service veterans by hiring them, according to their news release:
“Our mission is simple," explained Paul Jenkins, president and CEO and former naval aviator. We are applying levels of precision and intensity to create and sell the finest craft beers in the world so in the long run we are able to employ as many veterans as possible, as quickly as possible.”
The company’s goal is to hire 100 veterans within its first year, 500 within three years and 3,500 within five years.
“We intend to change the momentum in veteran unemployment within one generation by showing American business what an incredible resource veterans are,” said Jenkins. “We’re also a business comprised of veterans and are striving to employ those who served our country in uniform in every role within the organization.
“We are in the business of producing and selling the finest domestic craft beer in America and believe beer drinkers will enjoy our beer and identify with our brand,” said Chad Watson, vice president of sales and brand development. “Ten percent of our profits will go to charities that support veterans causes.”
The company’s brewmaster Eric Rine began his career as an aviation supply officer before transitioning to fighter aviation as an F/A-18D Weapon Systems Officer.
“We’re producing two specially developed hand crafted beers,” said Rine, who completed professional brewing courses at the Siebel Institute of Technology, America’s oldest brewingschool, and the University of California at Davis School of Brewing Science. “The VeteranAmber Lager is an easy-drinking, session beer that can satisfy even the most discerning drinker again and again without being too filling. The Blonde Bomber is an easy-to-drink session, true craft beer created for those who love a beer with a gentle flavor profile and a pleasing texture.”
“We are acutely aware of the challenge veterans face in finding jobs,” said Jenkins. “There would be no need for a company like Veteran Beer Company if the veteran unemployment rate was not 3 times the national average and the unemployment rate of disabled veterans was not 88 percent. We want to change the momentum in veteran unemployment by providing veteranswith meaningful opportunities for post-service careers as we grow the company.”
Veterans has started with two beers being contract-brewed by Cold Spring in Minnesota: The Veteran is an amber lager described as "…an easy-drinking, session beer that can satisfy even the most discerning drinker again and again without being too filling. This beer communicates its handcrafted roots with an aroma that reveals a pleasant, subtle, malty quality that corresponds to the taste on the palate. With IBUs in the 20-26 range, the beer naturally pairs well with a wide variety of foods."Amber Lager is immediately recognizable for the rich color ) that appropriately conveys its medium-body. 5.0% alcohol by volume, SRM 10-15, and 20-26 IBU.
Blonde Bomber blonde ale is called "… a beer that’s beautiful to look at in a clear glass. Its blonde coloration (SRM 3-5) and satisfying mouth feel are backed by a light hop aroma and a medium dry to somewhat sweet taste depending on the food accompaniment." Also 5.0% abv, SRM 3-5.
Veteran Brewing beers available at retail stores in Illinois and Indiana including Binny’s Beverage Depot, Kenwood Liquors, Tony’s Finer Foods, and select Safeway stores, Cardinal Wines & Spirits, Nardi’s on Chicago, and The Department. They are also available in Chicago at Hooters, The Lodge, Bootleggers, Mother’s Too, Pippin’s Tavern and Streeter’s Tavern. Both beers will also be available at all Levy Restaurants located inside the United Center in Chicago.