Joining the Black Ale Project to start an important conversation over a beer
Former Marine and non-combat veteran of the Persian Gulf War, Dave Pappas, 47, is partnering with breweries across Massachusetts and the country to support the Black Ale Project, a craft beer initiative to raise money and awareness on behalf of U.S. war veterans.
Pappas, a craft beer lover and former blogger, is tapping into the power of the Massachusetts craft beer industry to support this cause close to his heart. The Black Ale Project, founded in 2015, isn’t a charity organization itself but serves as a conduit to support existing veteran charities. The idea is simple: breweries brew a special dark beer and donate all or part of the proceeds to a veteran charity of their choice.
Bay State breweries Medusa Brewing Company, Wormtown Brewery, and Stone Cow Brewery have already collectively raised more than $11,000 for the New England Center and Home for Veterans, Veterans Inc., and the Boston chapter of Pets for Vets. Castle Island Brewing Company, Idle Hands Craft Ales, and True West Brewing Company currently have their Black Ale Project beer for sale in Massachusetts and will donate to their selected veteran charities once the beer sells out.
“This project was not designed to place a heavy financial burden on the participating breweries, so they choose how much they will donate,” says Pappas. “Whether it’s 100 percent of the proceeds or a dollar a glass, we just ask that breweries be completely transparent with the consumer in regard to their contribution.”
Pappas does not handle the money at any time during the process; each brewery writes a check and delivers it directly to their chosen charity. He will provide a list of local veteran nonprofits that have been vetted by Charity Navigator upon request, and hopes that breweries keep in touch and build long-lasting relationships with these local organizations.
“Every glass of beer poured starts a conversation about the struggles our veterans face,” says Pappas. “Suicide, mental and physical health issues, homelessness – these are topics we want people to talk about and ultimately do something about.”
Massachusetts breweries joining the cause this year include Brewmaster Jack, Exhibit ‘A’ Brewing Company, Brazo Fuerte Artisanal Beer, Barrel House Z, Henry & Fran Brewing Company, and Bone Up Brewing Company. Wormtown Brewery is also planning a second release later this year.
“We are proud that so many of our Massachusetts breweries are signing onto this project and working to provide support to our service men and women,” says Katie Stinchon, executive director of the Mass Brewers Guild, a nonprofit organization that protects and promotes Mass craft breweries. “Massachusetts craft breweries care about their communities and the ways in which they can make them stronger. We are grateful to the Black Ale Project for bringing this mission and message into tap rooms, backyard barbecues and homes across the Commonwealth and country.”
Supporting the Black Ale Project is easy: buy a beer, help a veteran. For more information, visit blackaleproject.org.