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#GoldStarToast Embodies Honor Brewing’s Mission

#GoldStarToast Embodies Honor Brewing’s Mission
Stacey Goers

Nearly every brewery will say that their beer carries a story and that their mission is to do something more for their community. But Honor Brewing Company takes that rhetoric a step beyond, knitting philanthropy directly into their core mission.

“It so much more than beer,” said Dave Keuhner, one of Honor’s partners. “The company has a soul and it has a purpose.”

The Virginia-based brewery (and wine manufacturer) aims to support military veterans and their families, whether it be through direct fundraising or educational programs. They partner with and support charitable organizations, such as Angel’s of America’s Fallen or HeroHomes, or run events like their Tribute Taps program, which dedicates a bar tap with customized dog tags, bearing a fallen veteran’s name.

For the month of September, they are launching a repeat of their 2015 #GoldStarToast campaign, set on educating the public on who Gold Star families are, what the organization seeks to provide and tell the stories of those in the armed forces who have lost their lives — notably, in recent engagements.

A presidential proclamation names the last Sunday in September as Gold Star Mothers’ and Families’ Day, so Honor hopes their efforts during the month will culminate in more attention, awareness and support.

It will be a multi-tiered effort for Honor Brewing:

  • Every day during the month, they will post stories on their social channels written by families about loved ones who gave their lives for their country.
  • They are currently seeking retail and restaurant partners to collaborate on special events and promotions. (Keuhner said that their main distributor in Georgia, for example, plans to match the donations given by restaurants and establishments in the state.)
  • Promote Honor beer fans to use the #GoldStarToast handle to spread the word.

Honor does not have a physical retail location yet. Keuhner told PorchDrinking that they aim to open their Chantilly, Virginia brewery by Memorial Day 2017. They don’t aim to be a solely local brand; Honor is already distributing far beyond their Virginia roots, including to the Epcot theme park and the Tampa Bay Rays’ Tropicana Field. They grew from serving one state to 10 in 18 months, a growth that Keuhner says they are ready for and thrilled about.

Keuhner and his partners, Allen Cage and Sean Meyer, come from long family lineages of veterans. Keuhner says that though veterans and military families are their core passions, nothing can develop without good, solid beer.

“We’re all here to make good beer and we’re all here to have a good time; bottom line if we don’t sell product, we’re not in business tomorrow,” he said.

Of their brews, their Warrior IPA is meant to appeal to a wide audience, not be too hoppy or bitter. Drinkable. It has a 6.8 percent ABV and carries flavors of “lemon balm, grapefruit zest, dank herbs, bright citrus fruit and pine forest,” Honor says. We tasted a can on a Thursday night and it was definitely more fruit-forward than other IPAs, still very drinkable and stuck around with a lingering flavor on your tongue.

Photo courtesy of Honor Brewing
Photo courtesy of Honor Brewing

Their cherry wheat isn’t sweet, comes in with a 5.5 percent ABV, and carries a “kiss” of cherry, Keuhner said. Their wines are California-grown and carry different themes, such as Honor, Serve and Highest Honor, which includes bottles for more than $90.

“Everybody in this country knows somebody who has served in the military,” Keuhner said. He believes this connection will drive consumers to his beer and wine. In doing so, folks will give back to the armed forces community … just by enjoying a glass.

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