Hops For Heroes Is Back!
March 10, 2022
After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic and pressures it brought to the brewing community, we are excited to announce that Hops for Heroes™ is back in 2022 with new brewery partners and updates! Hops for Heroes is an annual event where craft breweries across the nation brew Homefront IPA and donate 100% of the proceeds to support Soldiers’ Angels programs.
A little history
The Hops for Heroes project started in 2011 with two breweries on either side of the U.S. and one plan: brew a beer that gives back to our military. Center of the Universe Brewing in Ashland, Virginia, and Fremont Brewing in Seattle, Washington got to work on a plan. At the time, Center of the Universe was a brewery in planning because cofounder Chris Ray was still working as a baseball player for the Seattle Mariners. They brewed the beer at Fremont Brewing and released the first batch at Safeco Field during a game. More on the history here.
Homefront IPA release
Homefront IPA is a traditional American IPA brewed with Cascade and Chinook hops and heaps of fresh orange zest. Because one of the founders of this initiative was a baseball player, the recipe has a fun twist: it’s aged on unfinished maple wood in the shape of baseball bats! Each year, Hops for Heroes breweries are sent maple bats to throw in the fermenter. The bats are engraved with the brewery logo and year and are raffled off to raise more money for Soldiers’ Angels.
In previous years we’ve had releases across the country on or around Memorial Day. This year, we’re spreading it out! Our brewery partners now have the option of releasing the beer between Memorial Day (May 30) and Veterans Day (November 11).
We’re also SUPER excited to finally have the new label design out in the world! Back in 2019, we redesigned and released a new Homefront IPA logo and label artwork. And then Covid happened. We are FINALLY going to see this awesome design on beer cans and bottles this year!
Joining the big brew
We’re still recruiting breweries for this year’s “Big Brew”! Breweries who sign on before April 15 will receive Hops for Heroes tap handles, coasters, and t-shirts to help promote their release. Participating in Hops for Heroes is also a very rewarding experience as it helps to earn significant media exposure, increases employee engagement, and draws community support by connecting your work to a worthy cause. Some of the benefits include:
- Publicity and exposure to major media markets throughout the United States.
- Social media amplification through Soldiers’ Angels Facebook (380K+ followers), Twitter (37K+ followers),and Instagram (4.3K+ followers) pages.
- Company recognition on Soldiers’ Angels website (544K+ annual visitors) and inclusion in national newsletter (340K+ subscribers).
- Exposure to more than 100,000 Angel volunteers worldwide.
- Rewarding volunteer opportunities for employees and team leaders through community-facing release parties.
“There is no shortage of great ‘beer for a cause’ programs out there. It really goes hand in hand with the principles that most craft brewers instill in their breweries. What I think makes this program stand out is that everyone involved has a deep commitment to the cause and shows it with a 100% donation of all proceeds. You will be hard pressed to find any other that does so. I’m extremely proud of everyone who has participated and continues to do so because you know their heart is in it. There is no better reward than when we get to write that check to Soldiers’ Angels.” – Center of the Universe Brewing Company and Hops for Heroes Co-Founder, Chris Ray
2022 breweries (so far)
We already have some great breweries who have signed up to brew Homefront IPA this year!
- Center of the Universe Brewing Company – founding brewery – Ashland, Virginia
- Founders Brewing – Grand Rapids & Detroit, Michigan
- Two Lions Winery & Palm Harbor Brewery – Palm Harbor, Florida
- 1700 Brewing – New Port News, Virginia
- Karbach Brewing Company – Houston, Texas
- Caledonia Brewing – Dunedin, Florida
- Left Hand Brewing – Longmont, Colorado
If you’re in the beer industry and want to HOP on the bandwagon, we’d love to add you to our list of supporters! Learn more here.