Over the past several years I've trained my writer's eye on the world of beer, covering hop growers, bar owners, micro-maltsters, and yes, even the occasional cheesemaker. During the course of my travels I've met dozens of dedicated brewers in Europe, Asia, and North America, and have tried my best to accurately tell their stories. Or at least the part of the story that relates to everyone's favorite hoppy beverage. Generally speaking I'm not one to choose favorites, but one of the most interesting assignments I landed this year is an article that appears in the current issue of All About Beer.
Entitled "Band of Brewers," it profiles a number of U.S. breweries started by military veterans including Todd Baldwin, the founder of Red Leg Brewing in Colorado, Mike McCreary, the owner of Connecticut's Cavalry Brewing, Kevin Ryan, the co-founder of Service Brewing in Georgia, and Nick Fertig, the co-owner of Maryland's Full Tilt Brewing. They aren't the only vets out there working hard to brew great beer—far from it—but mentioning every soldier, sailor, and pilot with a business plan would have meant a much longer feature. The one company I knew for sure would end up in the final piece is 14th Star Brewing out of Saint Albans, Vermont. I first met Steve Gagner and Matt Kehaya last November while researching my forthcoming book (more on that very soon) and admired their plucky attitude. Which is why I'm happy to give them a bit of national exposure just a few months after their first anniversary. Here's to Steve, Matt, and all those who have served.