Black Ale Project continues to grow as donations to vets top $100k

The craft beer community is well known for rallying around good causes and helping those in need.

The craft beer community is well known for rallying around good causes and helping those in need.

Recently, we’ve seen hundreds of breweries support Sierra Nevada’s fundraising efforts for the Camp Fire Relief Fund by brewing Resilience IPA. We’ve also seen many local taprooms sponsor a variety of benefits or fundraising events almost on a weekly basis. But did you know that one of the fastest-growing fundraising project is based out of the Bay State?

The Black Ale Project, led by former Marine Dave Pappas, is teaming up with breweries to brew special releases where all proceeds are donated to a charity of the brewery’s choice.

Spreading awareness one beer at a time

Back when I first wrote about Dave in the early days of the Black Ale Project in March 2017, there were only eight breweries involved all within a few hundred miles of each other in northern New England. Today, the number of participating breweries has ballooned to more than 50 for a combined 62 beer releases since late 2016! There look to be at least 20 more releases confirmed for the future, and that number’s sure to continue growing.

“The Black Ale Project would just be an idea if brewers didn’t make the beer and people didn’t buy the beer,” Dave said. “So it’s truly a team effort by the craft beer community.”

As I mentioned, each release is tied to a veteran-focused charity. The brewery chooses the charity and donates the proceeds of the special-release beer. Since this counts for both taproom sales and off-premise sales, it’s hard to know a grand total to-date (especially now that there’s usually a new beer being released as soon as another is running out). However, as of early January 2019, the Black Ale Project has donated more than $100,000 to 40+ veteran charities.

A majority of these breweries are still within New England (check out the full list below), but they’ve also spanned across the country to places like Texas (5×5 Brewing Co.), California (Ballast Point Brewing Company), New Jersey (Backward Flag Brewing Company), Delaware (Dogfish Head Craft Brewery), and Virginia (Aslin Beer Company, Rocket Frog Brewing Company). Plus, Aslin’s Semper Gumby just became the first Black Ale Project release to be tapped outside of the United States.

New opportunities are brewing

In addition to partnering with more and more breweries, there’s something new brewing for the Black Ale Project in 2019: events.

Earlier this month, Saltbox Kitchen hosted the Brewed for a Cause Dinner featuring a 5-course meal paired with offerings from Saltbox Brewery, Bone Up Brewing, Wormtown Brewery, and Moon Hill Brewing.

On Feb. 9, Cape Cod Beer will host the Dark of Winter Black Ale Project Beer Festival, the first beer festival to exclusively showcase Black Ale Project beers from more than 10 Massachusetts breweries.

Proceeds from the fest will be donated to Cape Cod Cares for the Troops. This 2-session event features a killer lineup of breweries and is bound to sell out, so best to grab your tickets while you can.

Be on the lookout for more upcoming events, including release celebrations, by following the Black Ale Project on Facebook and Instagram.

Brewery releases

Medusa Brewing Co.MASept. 2016
Wormtown BreweryMAOct. 2016
Good Measure Brewing Co.VTNov. 2016
Stone Cow BreweryMADec. 2016
Prohibition Pig BreweryVTDec. 2016
Idletyme Brewing Co.VTJan. 2017
14th Star Brewing Co.VTFeb. 2017
Castle Island Brewing Co.MAMarch 2017
Idle Hands Craft AlesMAApril 2017
True West Brewing Co.MAApril 2017
Barrel House ZMAMay 2017
Foundation Brewing Co.MEMay 2017
3cross Fermentation CooperativeMAJune 2017
Ballast Point Brewing Co.CAJuly 2017
Willimantic Brewing Co.CTAug. 2017
Bone Up Brewing Co.MAAug. 2017
Lefty’s Brewing Co.MASept. 2017
Atlantic Brewing Co.MESept. 2017
Clown Shoes BeerMAOct. 2017
Stone Cow Brewery (2nd release)MAOct. 2017
The Portsmouth BreweryNHOct. 2017
Exhibit ‘A’ Brewing Co.MAOct. 2017
Medusa Brewing Co. (2nd release)MAOct. 2017
River Styx BrewingMAOct. 2017
Mason’s Brewing Co.MENov. 2017
Wormtown Brewery (2nd release)MANov. 2017
Switchback Brewing Co.VTNov. 2017
Urban Farm FermentoryMEDec. 2017
Fore River Brewing Co.MEDec. 2017
Foulmouthed BrewingMEJan. 2018
Bone Up Brewing Co. (2nd release)MAJan. 2018
Cape Cod BeerMAJan. 2018
Moon Hill Brewing Co.MAFeb. 2018
Pipe Dream BrewingNHMarch 2018
Brewmaster JackMAApril 2018
Wachusett Brewing Co.MAMay 2018
True West Brewing Co. (2nd release)MAJune 2018
5×5 Brewing Co.TXJuly 2018
Barrel House ZMAAug. 2018
Willimantic Brewing Co. (2nd release)CTAug. 2018
Second Wind Brewing Co.MAAug. 2018
Throwback BreweryNHSept. 2018
Epicure BrewingCTSept. 2018
Widowmaker BrewingMAOct. 2018
Lamplighter Brewing Co.MAOct. 2018
White Birch Brewing NHNov. 2018
Smuttynose Brewing Co./SmuttlabsNHNov. 2018
Dogfish Head Craft BreweryDENov. 2018
Revival Brewing Co.RINov. 2018
Switchback Brewing Co. (2nd release)VTNov. 2018
Night Shift BrewingMANov. 2018
Harpoon BreweryMANov. 2018
Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers/Springdale BeerMANov. 2018
Wormtown Brewery (3rd release)MANov. 2018
Aslin Beer Co.VANov. 2018
Tumbledown BrewingMENov. 2018
Buzzards Bay BrewingMADec. 2018
Backward Flag Brewing Co.NJDec. 2018
Rocket Frog Brewing Co.VADec. 2018
Saltbox BreweryMADec. 2018
Bone Up Brewing Co. (3rd release)MADec. 2018
Moon Hill Brewing Co. (2nd release)MAJan. 2019

Photo credit: Matt Darcy/Bone Up Brewing


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