One of the things I really love about the craft beer scene in the Tampa / St. Pete area is how it builds community. When we had our release of Garden Nectar a few weeks ago at the Brewers Tasting Room, I had the pleasure of meeting Craig Anders and Don Schmidt. We had a great conversation over the course of the evening, and I learned about the Road Warrior Foundation, which they are both involved with.

The Road Warrior Foundation provides services to Special Ops Veterans in need. Specifically, they sponsor cross country rides using Can Am Spyders, a three wheeled motorcycle, as well as other social events designed to build camaraderie and provide opportunities for veterans who may be feeling isolated to engage with a broader community and rebuild social lives and connections. The Can Am Spyders require less physically to ride than a traditional motorcycle would, while providing the same thrilling adventure and sense of freedom and exhilaration. At the proper time in the overall rehabilitation process, these cross country rides help wounded vets rebuild and regain a sense of independence, mobility, companionship, and social belonging that many wounded vets can struggle with on their path back to civilian life. Craig says, "That is really our main aim and goal, to utilize Adventure Therapy as a means to healing!" What a cool idea!

Many years ago I served in our country's military, and while I was fortunate enough to never see battle during my 10 years, or be injured in any other way, I have great respect and compassion for those who paid a higher price than I did. Regardless of whether or not you agree with any particular persons or groups politics, the individual members of our military put their lives and well being on the line defending a way of life that they believe in... and that we enjoy and profit from. And so any organization that supports those who do so has my respect.

With that sentiment we are proud to support Hops for Heroes, an upcoming craft beer festival put on by The Brewers Tasting Room in support of The Road Warrior Foundation. The event will be held Saturday, January 17th, 2015 at 2:00 pm, in the parking lot of The Brewers Tasting Room, and will feature beers from many local breweries. We are brewing a special commemorative beer, Road Warrior IPA, created especially for this event, and we are quite excited about it.

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We look forward to meeting some great vets, building some new friendships, creating some fabulous memories, and having a wonderful time. Our personal and business communities will continue to grow and flourish with events like this, and we will be blessed for it. I invite you all to come and join us.

Brew On!