At this farm near Bellingham, growing hops is helping veterans transition to a healthy life at home after military service
Bellingham’s Aslan Brewing Company recently announced its partnership with Growing Veterans, an organization that helps veterans transition to a healthy life at home following military service. On Saturday, September 29th the brewery releases Charlie Foxtrot IPA at the Fresh Hop Forum event at Aslan Depot in downtown Bellingham. The beer was brewed using hops from Growing Veterans’ farm in Whatcom County. It will serve as a mechanism to raise funds and awareness for the organization. (Photo above courtesy Growing Veterans.)
Growing Veterans operates a farm outside of Bellingham, offering a new healthcare model that combines informal peer support with farming. They create a safe space where veterans work together, support each other, and engage with their communities to have a successful transition home. This past summer, working with Aslan Brewing, the farm added hops to its list of produce. The hops were recently harvested and put to good use by the brewery in its Charlie Foxtrot IPA.
“Aslan Brewing’s guidance and support over the last year has been instrumental in the development and success of Growing Veterans Organic Hops program,” said Scotty Irwin, Programs Director at Growing Veterans. “We appreciate the opportunity to work with a local business that is committed to using organic ingredients, locally sourced goods, and sustainable practices. We look forward to expanding our organic hops program and future collaborations with Aslan Brewing Company.”
“We chose to work with Growing Veterans because of their ability to directly impact people in need,” said Jack Lamb, CEO of Aslan Brewing. “We owe a lot to the veterans of this country, and yet they are often distanced from the resources they need to live a healthy life after service. No matter how you may feel about war or the military in general, we must understand that veterans deserve our help, just like any other active member of our community.”
“Growing Veterans is a model for what a motivated nonprofit looks like,” said Lamb. “They have found a way to not only make a difference in the lives of veterans, but to do so in a productive, creative, and interactive way. Through this collaboration, we will raise awareness for veterans in need and bolster Growing Veterans’ ability to help those very men and women who have always had our backs.”
Growing Veteran’s vision is to make an impact on veteran suicide by targeting the root cause: isolation. Using the farm as the platform, they provide a space where veterans can work together, support each other, and engage with the broader community to have a full and successful transition home.
For veterans, Growing Veterans often serves as a professional stepping stone, giving vets an opportunity to build their resume and their individual skill sets. It is also a place to come, help out, and hang out with other vets who share similar experiences. Opportunities for vets to get involved include employment, professional volunteerism, internships, and fellowship. The possibilities are not limited to peer-support, farm or market; veterans help out with organizational development, fundraising, business and community networking, and educational projects.
Visit growingveterans.org/how-to- help/ to donate or get involved.