Ales for ALS
By: Liz - Harpoon Helps Published:
A few months ago we received a note from one of our hop providers about a project they were organizing called Ales for ALS. The idea behind the project was simple; Loftus Ranches and Hopunion (the aforementioned hop providers) would send us a special proprietary hop blend to brew a beer with and we’d donate a portion of sales of the beer to ALS research. We signed ourselves right up, as did dozens of other breweries across the country.
ALS holds special significance to Harpoon because one of our founding investors, Gordon Heald, succumbed to the disease many years ago. It inspired us to call awareness and raise funds to help find a cure for this horrendous disease, which is a progressive neurodegenerative disease. So about 12 years ago we started our annual Harpoon 5-Miler to benefit ALS research. The race, which has raised close to $1,000,000 to date, benefits the work of The Angel Fund. Each year around the time of the race (which will be held on May 19th) we hear more and more about how much ALS has affected so many people in our community, and it inspires us to do more.
Ales for ALS gave us another opportunity to help. All funds raised from the Ales for ALS project will go to ALS TDI, a research organization located near our Boston brewery in Cambridge, MA. A few Harpoon brewers, with this special proprietary hop blend in mind, put their heads together and came up with a recipe for a session IPA. So a couple weeks ago we invited ALS TDI staff members to join us at the brewery and help brew our Ales for ALS beer. Dave, Ben, Mari, and John came by to help us throw in the hops and sample some of the wort as we brewed our 10-barrel batch. They brought with them Steve Saling, a renowned landscape architect and beer lover, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2006 at 38 years old. Steve has become a tremendous advocate for ALS research. While he is unable to speak or use his hands, he is able to communicate clearly using an eyegaze computer that is mounted on his power chair; using that eyegaze computer Steve ordered a Harpoon Cider and a Boston Irish Stout when we went back to the beer hall for a beer after the brew.
Our Ales for ALS session IPA will be on tap in our Boston beer hall in May. We’ll let you know when to come in, try the beer, and support ALS research. We’re very proud to be a part of a brewing community that works together to support a cause that’s so important to us and to many in the extended Harpoon family.