Memorial Day isn’t just a day off work for some of you, or an excuse to drink during the day and char some burgers on the grill. It’s a time that’s set aside for us to remember, honor and pay respect to all those men and women in our military who have given the ultimate sacrifice — their lives — in order to keep the rest of us safe and secure.

This year, we can raise a pint of ale called Hurry Up and Wait and give a toast in honor of all veterans, thanks to a collaboration between 20 Pennsylvania breweries that are owned or operated by veterans.

This double India pale ale was brewed in true collaboration style, with everyone gathering at Harrisburg’s Newfangled Brew Works. Kegs of it will be pouring at 22 breweries throughout the state, with part of the proceeds benefiting the Pennsylvania Veterans Foundation.

The care and attention to detail that went into this double IPA makes it one to seek out and try. In Lancaster County, you’ll find it at Cox Brewing Co. in Elizabethtown and at Black Forest Brewery in Ephrata (find my story about them at bit.ly/LNP_blackforest).

Eric Sears from Black Forest served in the Marine Corps from 2008 to 2012, spending part of that time deployed in Afghanistan.

Nick Cox and Tim Kreider, the co-owners and brewers of Cox Brewing Co., both served in the military. Kreider was in the U.S. Air Force for four years and Cox is currently still serving full-time with the Army National Guard at Fort Indiantown Gap.

Kreider says Cox Brewing’s interest in this collaboration stems from being part of the military community and wanting to give something back.

“Anytime we can benefit others in the community through what we do and through our trade, we want to do that,” he says.

Black Forest and Cox Brewing were also part of the Sierra Nevada Resilience Project, which benefited the California neighborhoods affected by the devastating Camp Fire, so the businesses are familiar with joining causes to help others.

Kreider says there might be another brew if the response to Hurry Up and Wait is strong. It could be a special Veterans Day beer or even an annual Pennsylvania Veterans Memorial Day release.

The Pennsylvania Veterans Foundation is a nonprofit charity that helps veterans and their family members in the state through grant work with other charities, assistance with shelter and essentials, guidance through red tape for benefits qualifications and raising awareness about the ongoing needs of veterans.

Since incorporating nearly eight years ago, Pennsylvania Veterans Foundation has awarded grants to organizations including Camp Koala, for children in military families; Dog T.A.G.S., offering training to veterans and their service dogs; Veterans Helping Hand, assisting veterans with an emphasis on the homeless; and a variety of equine, fishing and nature therapy groups.


Ingredients

The grain bill for Hurry Up and Wait comprises a combination of Keystone pale, pale oats and pale triticale that was floor-germinated and hand-kilned by Delaware County’s Deer Creek Malthouse. The triticale is described by Deer Creek as a “hybrid of rye and wheat,” and as such it should offer some spicy rye notes and wheat softness.

To underscore the role of veterans in this brew, the hops come from Washington’s Yakima Chief Hops. This Veterans Blend is one decided on by American breweries that represent different branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.

The 2018 blend included Cashmere, Centennial, Ekuanot, Mosaic and Simcoe. You’ll likely get some citrus, tropical fruits, berry and pine from this combination.

Hurry Up and Wait is available now. A full list of participating breweries can be found at bit.ly/hurryupandwait.

Many of us have family members and friends who are veterans, and some of you who will be spending Memorial Day with somber thoughts as you remember a loved one.

We thank you, veterans, for your service.