A Dallas-Fort Worth brewery is brewing a beer that comes with a little something extra: It benefits military veterans.
The beer is a pale ale called Good To Go, made by Texas Ale Project (TAP), a brewery in the Dallas Design District. TAP partnered with a group called Honor Courage Commitment (HCC) that helps military veterans navigate their way back into the civilian workforce.
Kat Thompson founded TAP three years ago with a vision to make good beer, but also with a mission to do good things. Together, TAP and HCC brewed a beer, covered the can in camouflage, and named it "Good To Go" after a common military phrase used in response to the question, "All clear?"
"It also just fits the beer," Thompson says. "This is an easy-drinking ale, just good to go."
Thompson's husband and TAP's brewer, Brent, is a four-year Navy veteran, making it a natural fit for them to support other veterans wishing to become entrepreneurs.
"When we met [the folks] at HCC, we could see they'd be great partners and they didn’t believe in handouts," she says. "They believe in empowerment, hard work, and earning something for yourself, which is a mutual belief all four of us share."
Texas Ale Project donates 10 percent of the sales of Good to Go Pale Ale to HCC; the brewery's donations have already totaled almost $9,000. Proceeds are put directly into an entrepreneur training program that's free for veterans who apply. So far, 85 veterans have attended.
"The program, and others like it, are a critical way for veterans to gain the tools necessary to go on to greater things," says Cliff Sosamon, HCC executive director. "We know that veterans have the aptitude to learn quickly, adapt, and adjust to a changing landscape. However, when starting a business, the learning curve is steep because mistakes cost money; and if not handled correctly, it can be detrimental to many other life factors."
While this is a charitable endeavor, the beer has won over beer drinkers, too, and won a recent blind tasting at Flying Saucer Addison.
"It has a certain energy to it — it's not a boring beer," Kat says. "It’s a dry-hopped, balanced pale brewed with a mix of malts including Pilsen and honey malt. The honey malt gives it a touch sweetness while the citrus-forward hops add a beautiful aroma and hop balance."
More than 380,000 vets currently live in the Metroplex.
"Our main mission with Good to Go was to raise awareness among craft beer drinkers of what Honor Courage Commitment, Inc. does for veterans and its DFW community," Kat says.
"We're proud to help spread the word about their entrepreneurship training to get more veterans involved right on our cans. We feel this is the big impact that Good to Go Pale Ale is making toward HCC’s success."