There's nothing better than relaxing with a beer after a long day of work, except maybe drinking a beer that helps those in need. That's the idea behind 50 Back, The Brew of the Brave, where 50 percent of profits will go to various veteran support organizations.
There's nothing better than relaxing with a beer after a long day of work, except maybe drinking a beer that helps those in need.
That's the idea behind 50 Back, The Brew of the Brave, where 50 percent of profits will go to various veteran support organizations.
"Veterans and their families sacrifice so much for the rest of us," said Kimberly Rogers, co-founder of 50 Back Brewing Company. "If we can create a great-tasting beer that can help make even a small difference in their lives, we will have succeeded."
The idea began about two years ago with Rogers and co-founder Paige Haley, both of Pepperell, Mass. They both had family members and friends who either had served or were currently in the military.
Both Rogers and Haley said they decided they wanted to do something to help the veterans.
"The idea (of helping) really resonated with other people as well," Rogers said.
"Everyone knows someone, even if it's not a family member, who is in the military," said Haley. "We decided to make a great beer, and give back to our soldiers and veterans."
The idea about making a beer stems from Rogers' father, a U.S. Army veteran who used to homebrew.
"This goes back to my dad," said Rogers. "It was pretty interesting, the concoctions to come out of the basement."
There's another reason they thought beer made sense. Rogers said they considered hats or T-shirts, but people would only buy one of those.
Beer, she said, could be a repeat purchase at an affordable price.
And as Haley said, "Who doesn't like beer?"
The pair did their own market research, conducting informal polls on the streets, trying to find what people wanted for a beer.
They decided their first beer would be a lighter-style lager.
"It's on the lighter side of the craft beer spectrum," said Haley. "The goal was to have a recipe where craft beer drinkers would enjoy it, and those who enjoyed more of the everyday domestic beers would like it to. We didn't want to do anything too hoppy or too extreme."
The result is a 4.9 percent alcohol by volume lager. It is brewed by the Olde Saratoga Brewing Company in New York. It's a straight-forward beer and easy to drink. There's nothing that stands out about it, but it's a refreshing drink on a warm day.
But more important than the actual beer are the charities that 50 Back is helping, Haley and Rogers said.
The pair said they researched online for what they call A+ rated charities that were military- or veterans-based.
The charities chosen are the USO, Homes for Our Troops, the Ahern Family Charitable Foundation, the Massachusetts Soldiers Legacy Fund and America's VetDogs.
As the name of the brewing company indicates, 50 percent of all proceeds will go to those charities. So far, in the 10 months the beer has been available, it has raised $5,000 for charity.
But they hope to do even more. The beer is only distributed in Massachusetts and North Carolina, but "if the beer isn't in a store, ask for it," Haley said.
If 50 Back is successful, Rogers hopes they can grow the company.
"We'd love for this to be the flagship beer, and do more recipes in the future," she said.
For more information on the charities 50 Back supports, visit their websites: www.50back.com, www.uso.org, www.homesforourtroops.org, www.ahernfoundation.org, www.mslfund.org, www.vetdogs.org.
Norman Miller is a MetroWest (Mass.) Daily News staff writer. For questions, comments, suggestions or recommendations, email email@example.com or call 508-626-3823. Check out The Beer Nut blog at http://blogs.wickedlocal.com/beernut/ or follow the Beer Nut at his Twitter page at www.twitter.com/realbeernut.