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Raise a Glass – 5 Breweries and Distilleries Run by Veterans

January 1, 2024
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Both active-duty service members and veterans alike are no stranger to raising a glass or six, in celebration or sorrow, barracks room or beach front. No surprise then that many veterans choose to devote themselves to that most noble of causes, that of creating new types of liquid courage we all enjoy. In honor of that glorious pursuit, here are five of the highest rated joy bottlers owned and operated by those who put their lives on the line.

Horse Soldier Whiskey (Somerset-Pulaski County, Kentucky)

Live Legendary

Horse Soldier Whiskey, named after the Green Berets who fought on horseback in Afghanistan shortly after 9/11, is more than just an excellent bourbon; it's a testament to the indomitable spirit of American heroes. Crafted by the Special Forces veterans known as the Horse Soldiers, this whiskey embodies the same grit and determination that saw them succeed against all odds on the battlefield. Distilled with the precision and attention to detail special forces are known for, Horse Soldier Whiskey is a nod to the courage and camaraderie that defines these warriors.

Dog Tag Brewing Company (Boise, Idaho)

“Never Forgetting Means More Than Just Remembering”

Dog Tag Brewing Company stands out not only for its exceptional brews but also for its commitment to supporting veterans and their families. Founded by Marine Corps veteran Seth Jordan, the brewery donates 100% of its profits to charities benefiting Gold Star families. The brewery's flagship beer, Legacy Lager, honors fallen service members by featuring their names on each can.

Seth's vision goes beyond crafting quality beers; it's about creating a legacy of support for those who have sacrificed so much. The brewery's commitment to philanthropy and the community has garnered widespread praise, making Dog Tag Brewing Company another example of how businesses can make a positive impact beyond their bottom line.

Service Brewing Co (Savannah, Georgia)

"Twin Love Stories"

Former Army officer Kevin Ryan began Service Brewing Co in 2014 after his partner, Meredith Sutton, gifted him a brewing kit on Valentine’s Day. After spending some time on trial and error with the kit, Ryan decided he could produce some truly original flavor, and decided to make it a career.

With the help of investors, most of them veterans from the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps, he has managed to take a hobby project and turn it into a full-fledged brewery. Meredith wasn’t done yet, however, and designed the brewery’s tasting room from Ryan’s descriptions of his military career. 

Since opening almost a decade ago, Service Brewing Co. has raised tens of thousands of dollars for various charities at various levels, aimed at assisting veterans and first responders.

Honor Brewing Company (Chantilly, Virginia)

“Brew Great Beer. Honor American Heroes”

Navy veteran Scott Johnson created Honor Brewing Company in Chantilly, Virginia, to pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of military personnel. With a portfolio of meticulously crafted beers, including the popular Honor Golden Ale and Honor Warrior Double IPA, the brewery captures the essence of what it means to serve, but not just in their beer. What sets Honor Brewing Company apart is its dedication to supporting veterans transitioning to civilian life; seps and taps classes are… fine, but Honor Brewing actively partners with organizations focused on veteran employment and mental health initiatives, embodying the ideal that we are all family, in the end, and family takes care of its own.

Red Leg Brewing Company (Colorado Springs, Colorado)        

“Where Community and Culture Meet”

Nestled in the picturesque landscape of Colorado Springs, Red Leg Brewing Company is a veteran-owned establishment founded by Army veteran Todd Baldwin. The brewery takes its name from the red stripe on the trousers worn by artillery soldiers during the Civil War, symbolizing the connection to military history and tradition.

Red Leg Brewing is renowned for its commitment to producing high-quality, handcrafted beers. From the Devil Dog Stout to the Howitzer Amber, each brew pays homage to the military heritage while appealing to a wide range of palates. The brewery's success is a testament to the dedication and precision instilled by Baldwin's military service, creating an environment where patrons can enjoy finely crafted beers in a setting that honors the valor of the armed forces. It is one thing to sit and enjoy a beer, but doing so in a way that brings back the old stories is worth the beer’s weight in gold.

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