Dining » Vol. 58

The Black Alie Project

Kerry Cyganiewicz

Dave Pappas is a former Marine and a non-combat veteran of the Persian Gulf War. As a beer blogger at beer-journal.com, the Harvard resident developed many contacts throughout the craft beer community, and as a veteran, he witnessed firsthand the struggles of those coming home from war. Dave wanted to find a way to help and decided to combine the two into one and form The Black Ale Project.

The basic premise behind The Black Ale Project is that a brewery agrees to brew a dark style of beer and donate a portion of the proceeds to a charity of their choice. The specific charity and donation must be chosen ahead of time and posted for the patrons of the brewery to see. Dave is not a charity; he prefers to be called a “philanthropic facilitator.” He merely matches breweries willing to participate in this charitable endeavor with veterans charities. Dave prefers that breweries use veterans charities that have been screened by a website called charitynavigator.org to make sure that the funds are used for their intended purpose. To give you an idea of the local impact of Dave’s initiative, to date, Medusa Brewing in Hudson has raised $7,095 for the New England Center and Home for Veterans, and Wormtown Brewing has raised $3,000 for Veterans, Inc.!

The beers being released for The Black Ale Project are pretty special. Medusa Brewing sold out of an entire seven-barrel batch of a milk stout in two short weeks. Wormtown brewed an American brown ale, which is a style that is not usually seen and, quite frankly, one of which I’d like to see more. Stone Cow in Barre brewed one that I am so sorry I missed. It was a stout brewed with maple syrup and bacon called Operation Bacon. Stone Cow donated more than $1,000 to Pets for Vets.

Getting back to Dave, I cannot stress enough that he does not receive any of the money raised by The Black Ale Project. No salaries, no free beer. No reimbursements for expenses like mileage, hotel rooms, business cards or for his website. He is at every release for every beer but has yet to take a penny.

“I won’t even touch the giant cardboard check in the press pictures,” Dave told me.
Please consider supporting these great breweries for taking the time to support this great cause.

Here is the list of breweries that have already brewed beer for The Black Ale Project:

Medusa Brewing Company
Wormtown Brewing Company
Good Measure Brewing Company
Stone Cow Brewing Company, Prohibition Brewing Company
Idle Tyme Brewing Company
14th Star Brewing Company
Castle Island Brewing Company

Here is a list of breweries that are confirmed to release a beer to benefit The Black Ale Project:

Lost Nation Brewing
Brewmaster Jack
Exhibit A Brewing
Foundation Brewing Company
Lone Pine Brewing Company
Barreled Souls Brewing Company
Fore River Brewing Company
Brazo Fuerte Artisanal Beer
True West Brewing Company
Black Project Spontaneous and Wild Ales
Urban Farm Fermentory
Idle Hands Craft Ales
SoMe Brewing Company
Dirigo Brewing Company
Barrel House Z

How can you help? It’s simple: Buy a beer, help a veteran!

For more information, visit blackaleproject.org.

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