In the summertime, the most exertion many of us are willing to commit involves turning over some hamburgers on the barbecue. But a new brewery with a special mission is making helping veterans as easy as cracking open a bottle of beer.
Navy veteran Paul Jenkins and Marine Corps veteran Mike Danzer founded the Veteran Beer Company in 2012 with the goal of easing the veteran employment crunch by creating a company that would employ veterans and generate profits that could be donated to charities that help veterans. They began selling their two varieties—Blonde Bomber and The Veteran—on Veteran’s Day in 2013, and the company has been expanding ever since.
“We only anticipated to sell about 2,000 cases our first year,” Josh Ray, regional director of Veteran Brewing Company told Nicole Johnson of Valley News Live. “After four months, we did over 30,000 cases, and we’re pretty close to approaching 60,000 cases right now.”
Beer drinkers can now find Veteran Beer Company’s brews for sale in Indiana, Illinois, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Ten percent of the profits go to veterans’ charities, and the rest is channeled back into the company. Veteran Beer Company, which brews its beer in Cold Spring, Minnesota, employs only veterans, and plans to hire more vets as it continues to expand.
“Some of the things that veterans are promised aren’t really always followed through on,” Ray said. “With this, it’s really our opportunity to give back.” And anyone planning to buy a six pack to celebrate a lazy summer afternoon can give back too.
MORE: When This Marine Couldn’t Find A Job, He Started A Business To Help Other Returning Vets