Brewers Join Forces to Help Military Families with Memorial Day Ale

Mike O'Brien

Memorial Day is a day to reflect and honor the soldiers, sailors and airmen who made extraordinary sacrifices for their country.

But it’s also about the feel good factor and, with this in mind, a group of brewers have teamed up to toast the troops with a beer called Homefront IPA.

To give the beer, which is being released on Memorial Day, an all-American flavor it is actually fermented with maple baseball bats.

All proceeds from theale are to be donated to Operation Homefront, a nationwide organization dedicated to providing emergency financial assistance to military families.

The beer is part of the Hops for Heroes project, which began two years ago when Chris Ray was pitching for the Seattle Mariners.

Mr. Ray, who is the co-founder of Center of the Universe Brewing Co. in Richmond, Virginia, partnered with the Fremont Brewing Co. in Seattle.

They came up with a recipe and he chose Operation Homefront as the charity in honor of a friend who served in Afghanistan.

Mr. Ray told the Associated Press: "I was always taught when I was growing up to help out the people that help you. They're putting their lives on the line for us every day. The least we can do is help them keep their car on the road or help them keep their house."

Craft breweries across the country sell the beer in bottles and kegs, with proceeds going to local branches of the charity.

Last year the project raised $165,000, with the bats being auctioned off after they had dried out, but Mr. Ray is hoping the project will grow bigger each other.

You can learn more about the project at www.hopsforheroes.comand