It’s no secret that beer and the military go together like… well, beer and the military. There’s something very American about cracking open a cold one. It probably won’t come as a surprise that in the craft beer explosion, there are veterans making a name for themselves all over the United States.
Here’s just a sampling of the many establishments owned by veterans who love their brew:
Red Leg Brewing: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Named after the stripe on Civil War artillery soldier’s uniforms, Red Leg Brewing is a brewery with a tap room. Owned by 101st Airborne Division veteran Todd Baldwin, the brewery boasts military-themed brews including Howitzer Amber, SGT. Pils, and the World Beer Cup’s award-winning Devil Dog Stout. Red Leg celebrated its first year in business in July 2014.
Aiken Brewing Company: Aiken, South Carolina
According to Craft Beer, not only is the owner, Rob Pruiette, a veteran, but so are five of the six brewers at this brewpub. Found in downtown Aiken, the establishment offers lunch and dinner and a menu of 19 craft brews (although not all are on tap at the same time).
Bayou Teche Brewing: Arnaudville, Louisiana
As an Army Cavalry Scout deployed to Germany, Karlos Knott fell in love with European beers and was homesick for Louisiana and Creole home cooking. When he came home, he taught his brothers how to brew and converted a railcar into a brewery. They brew nine different beers, all with a distinctive Creole and Cajun twist.
Young Veterans Brewing Company: Virginia Beach, Virginia
Young Veterans Brewing Company is indeed run by young veterans. The co-owners, Thomas Wilder (Army National Guard) and Neil McCanon (Army and Army Reserves) both served in Iraq, although in different capacities. An assistant brewer, Jeremy Hockensmith, also served in the Army and Army Reserves. When you visit the taproom, you’ll find beers like Jet Noise, Night Vision, and Pineapple Grenade on tap.
Veteran Beer Company: Chicago, Illinois
Billed as brewing “the most important beer in America,” Veteran Beer Company was founded by a group of veterans who wanted to “change the momentum in veteran unemployment.” In addition to focusing on veteran employment, 10% of profits support veteran causes through donations to charities. We’ll drink to that!
Veterans United: Jacksonville, Florida
Founded by former Naval Flight Officer, Ron Gamble, and a “motley group of military veterans” (their words, not mine!), Veterans United offers eight year-round beers as well as others that are seasonal and limited-release. The brewery offers a taproom as well as guided tours on Saturdays.
Know a veteran-owned brewery? Let us know!
Don’t forget to check out the first installment of craft breweries from Florida to Colorado!
Jo is the author of Jo, My Gosh! a blog about her journey as a newlywed military wife. When she’s not working from home, she’s writing, reading, trying new recipes, watching sports or cross stitching. Catch her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook and say hi!