Brewery Partner Toolkit

Before you start brewing, be sure to click through the tabs of the Brewery Partner Toolkit below!

About Hops for Heroes™

Soldiers’ Angels is inviting professional breweries of all sizes to brew a custom recipe, Homefront IPA™, and donate the proceeds to the national charity, Soldiers’ Angels, to support U.S. Service Members, Veterans, and their families. Using donated supplies provided by our corporate sponsors and partners, all net proceeds from the sale of Homefront IPA will be donated to Soldiers’ Angels. Donations help to provide support in a variety of ways— from shipping care packages to deployed Service Members to providing food assistance to low-income and homeless Veterans, and more. Breweries of all sizes are invited to participate.

About Homefront IPA™

Homefront IPA™ is an ale brewed with oranges and aged on maple wood in the shape of a baseball bat. Hops for Heroes and Homefront IPA were created by former Major League Baseball pitcher and current owner of Center of the Universe Brewing in Ashland, Virginia, Chris Ray. This creation combined Chris’ love of baseball with his love of country and is thus brewed today with one goal in mind: to honor and support the men and women who have served or are currently serving in America’s Armed Forces.

About Soldiers’ Angels™

Soldiers’ Angels is one the largest nonprofits of its kind in the country with a 96.5% efficiency rating and is among the highest rated nonprofits by charity watchdog sites. Founded in 2003 by the family of General George Patton, Soldiers’ Angels has provided over $260 million in aid to military and veteran families over the last 20 years. In 2022 alone, Soldiers’ Angels provided support to over 877,000 Service Members, Veterans, wounded heroes, and their families.

Release Dates

The only requirement for your Homefront IPA release date is that it fall within the window from Memorial Day (May 30) to Veterans Day (November 11). From there, it’s completely up to what works with your brew schedule! But… with the tie to baseball and the military, we think a patriotic holiday weekend will give you and Soldiers’ Angels the optimum ROI. Here are some examples during that time period:


  • Memorial Day (May 30)
  • Flag Day (June 14)
  • Independence Day (July 4)
  • Purple Heart Day (August 7)
  • Patriot Day (September 11)
  • Veterans Day (November 11)

Service Branch Birthdays

  • Army (June 14)
  • Air Force (September 18)
  • Navy (October 13)
  • Marines (November 10)
  • Coast Guard (August 4)
  • Space Force (December 20)

Engagement Ideas

In addition to hosting a release party, we’ve outlined some additional event ideas that will allow you to engage your customers throughout the Homefront IPA brew process. Click on each title to learn more about each idea.

Bat Pitching Ceremony

One of the unique elements about the Homefront IPA recipe is the use of maple bats in the beer. Since the program was founded by former MLB pitcher, Chris Ray, the roots of the recipe tie-back to the all-American sport of baseball. And, just like any fine liquor aged in wood barrels, maple wood helps to bring another dimension of flavor to the beer. And so—hand-crafted, unfinished maple wood in the shape of a baseball bat is created specifically for the Hops for Heroes program and used in the brew process.

When you become a Hops for Heroes partner, you will receive one bat to use in your brew process and have the option to receive a second bat that can be auctioned off at your release party with the proceeds benefiting Soldiers’ Angels. You can also purchase additional bats as long as you submit your order before the bats go into production. The bats will be engraved with the Hops for Heroes logo, as well as your brewery logo.

During the brew process, the bats are placed in the fermenter with the beer. The bats will stay in the beer for the remainder of the brew process and, once the beer is completed, the baseball bat doubles as a great auction item for your release party!*

We couldn’t think of a better way to create a great “pitch” to your audience about Homefront IPA then to invite your top customers to witness putting the bats into the fermenter! Maybe a raffle could even determine the winner that would be the person to put the bat into the beer during a Bat Pitching Ceremony (pun fully intended!).

Past participants have also invited baseball players from their local teams to put the bats into the beer. No matter if you’re close to a major league team, minor league team, or just the summer softball league, a Bat Pitching Ceremony is an excellent way to engage your community and an even better press opportunity!

*If you do auction the bats, the proceeds from the auction of the bat(s) would need to come to Soldiers’ Angels and cannot benefit any other charity organization.

Orange Zesting Party

The Homefront IPA recipe calls for a significant portion of fresh sweet orange peel… which, if you’ve ever zested anything you already know takes a lot of time and a lot of hands! Many of our past participating breweries have overcome that challenge by hosting a “Zesting Party” to get the community involved in the process of brewing Homefront IPA.

In the brewing process, the zest is added to the tank when the beer is completed and ready to be carbonated. The zest sits in the beer for 2-3 days before the beer is ready to be canned or kegged. So typically, a Zesting Party is held just before the zest is needed— approximately 2-3 days before bottling/kegging.

During the party, guests come to the brewery and enjoy a free or discounted beer while helping to zest oranges. This is an excellent time to share details with your community about Hops for Heroes, Soldiers’ Angels, and planned activities you may have further down the line—such as auctioning off the bat, swag giveaways, or release dates for the beer.

Auction of the Bat(s)

When you become a Hops for Heroes partner, you will receive one bat to use in your brew process and have the option to receive a second bat that can be auctioned off at your release party with the proceeds benefiting Soldiers’ Angels. You can also purchase additional bats as long as you submit your order before the bats go into production. The bats will be engraved with the Hops for Heroes logo, as well as your brewery logo.

These bats are handcrafted especially for the Hops for Heroes program. Each bat will be engraved with the Hops for Heroes logo as well as your brewery logo. What you do with the bat you receive for the brew process after using it in your recipe is totally up to you— some hang it on their wall as a keepsake, some reuse it year after year, and some auction it off at their release party!

When you opt in to receive a second bat specifically for an auction, that bat must be auctioned with the proceeds from the auction benefiting Soldiers’ Angels. The proceeds from the auctioned bat cannot benefit any other charity organization.

As for the purchased bats, if you decide to go that direction— those are also your to do with what you will!

Process for Adding Your Logo to the Label

If you do intend to bottle/can/distribute Homefront IPA, it is mandatory that you utilize the designated Homefront IPA label that will include your logo and appropriate information. Soldiers’ Angels has a beverage branding agency on contract to assist with preparation of the Homefront IPA label. Below is a sample of what this label will look like with the addition of the Center of the Universe logo and information. Your logo and information would go in place of the Center of the Universe logo.

At the earliest possible time, we will need to collect the standard label details from you in order to begin the process of preparing your label for submission to the TTB. Soldiers’ Angels will not handle any COLA registrations or TTB submissions or communications— but our advertising agency is available to help you make edits to the label in order to comply with TTB/COLA standards.

This label artwork has been submitted and approved by the TTB in the past… however, as you well know, there may be additional issues once the artwork is updated to include your information. We will do our best to facilitate communication between your team and the team at the beverage branding agency, but this will require timely communication from your team during that process. To begin the label process, this is the standard list of items we will need to provide to the beverage branding agency:

  • Official Brewery name & Logo in .AI format
  • Address
  • Type/style of beer
  • Alc. %
  • Label size
  • Barcode if needed
  • Recycling deposit info (for states that require it)

The process for preparing your label will take approximately 2-3 days from the time that we receive all needed items. So please plan accordingly in order to not hold up your canning/bottling process!

Please note that Soldiers’ Angels is not a brewery, distributor, or beverage branding agency. If you should have questions about the COLA process or concerns about TTB approvals or disapprovals, we will likely not know the answer.


We tried to cover all your bases (did you see what we did there?) and provide materials that will help your Hops for Heroes campaign knock it out of the park (we really couldn’t resist!)— so be sure to click through all of the tabs to find information that will help your campaign succeed.

Here’s some quick links to make it easier:

  • Homefront IPA Recipe: Click here and see the tab Step 2: The Recipe
  • Brandbook, Social Media Graphics, Sample Press Release, and more: Click here and see the tab Step 3: The Event

Connect with Soldiers’ Angels!

Psst… don’t forget to connect with us on social using the hashtags #HopsForHeroes & #HomefrontIPA whenever you post! Scroll down for links to all of our social channels. You can also submit photos here.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is my donation due to Soldiers’ Angels and how much do I give?

As a reminder, with your participation in brewing Homefront IPA™, and per the agreement on the participation form, you have agreed to donate 100% of the net proceeds from Homefront IPA sales to Soldiers’ Angels.

Once your event is over and the Homefront IPA runs dry, your donation to Soldiers’ Angels is due. Please keep these important notes in mind regarding your donation:

  • As per the agreement you signed when you registered as a Hops for Heroes brewery, 100% of the net from the sale of Homefront IPA is the amount of your donation.
  • Your donation is due to Soldiers’ Angels on or before December 31st of that year.
  • You may send a check with your donation or make your donation via the Soldiers’ Angels website.
What happens if we don’t make our donation by 12/31?

If your brewery does not make the donation at the end of your campaign for that calendar year, this could impact your eligibility to participate in future years.

As a nonprofit, Soldiers’ Angels has a very small staff and limited financing to support special events like Hops for Heroes releases. Once you register and are approved to participate, staff hours are dedicated to helping you through your event and money is spent producing the shirts, bats, tap handles, etc. that you will use at your event. We’re sure you will understand that if we do not receive your donation at the end of the year… the nonprofit is losing money by supporting an event in which someone else earned money in the name of Soldiers’ Angels. Therefore, if we do not recieve your donation by 12/31 you will not be able to participate in the future.

Can the same brewery participate multiple years in a row?

Absolutely!! We welcome back past participants and love to see how their campaigns grow and change every year. Currently, we don’t have a limit on the number of years that a brewery can participate.

When should I host my event?

Events should be held between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. There are many patriotic holidays that fall within that time period and we recommend choosing one of those dates for your release party. We’ve got lots of great suggestions and dates outlined in the Toolkit here!

What items will my brewery receive for participating in the Hops for Heroes campaigns?

When you join Soldiers’ Angels Hops for Heroes, you will be provided with a limited number of promotional items. The items for this year’s campaign are still being designed, but we will share the design with you as soon as we have it as well as a breakdown of all the great items you will receive.

I have a question that’s not answered on the website. Who do I contact?

Please don’t hesitate to call or email if you have any questions beyond what is covered on this page or within the Brewery Partner Toolkit. Email [email protected] or call 210.629.0020