It no secret that the beer scene across the nation is exploding. The brewing landscape is filled with every personality you can imagine. It’s fascinating learning different back stories of all of the brewers and breweries out there. So many different walks of life but all with the common goal of making the best possible beer they can.
When I spoke to Eric Rine from the newly formed, Veteran Beer Company I got his pitch and it was simple enough; he wants to make good beer that people will enjoy enough to drink and come back for more. Simple enough, except for there is a lot more to Eric and there is a lot more to Veteran Beer Company. See, Eric isn’t your run of the mill, wookie-looking brewer. No, Eric is a retired Lt. Colonel in the Marines and a graduate of Navy Fighter Weapons School (Top Gun) and Test Pilot School. “I feel the need, the need for speed…” (Plus he doesn’t have the prerequisite, “brew-guy” beard) After retiring from the military, Eric continued training, but this time without fighter jets. Eric went and did his training, in beer brewing, at the Siebel Institute, America’s oldest school for brewing.
It was a no-brainer for Paul Jenkins, the CEO of Veteran Beer Company, to hire Eric as his head brewer, er, lead pilot of brewing. A military retiree himself, Jenkins didn’t just stop with the hiring of Eric. From the people delivering the beer to the team bottling it, Paul has created an entire company fully staffed with veterans.
Veteran Beer Company just had their launch party last night in Chicago but they already have distribution deals in place. In Chicago you’ll be able to find their beers at all 29 Binny’s locations and Treasure Island grocery stores as well as being sold at Hooters. Be on the lookout for the first two releases, The Veteran which is a solid amber lager and the Blonde Bomshell, a great, easy drinking brew with subtle hop aroma. Both beers come in at 5% abv so you can have more than a few, just to get the flavor profile down, of course.