Cheers to No-Li Brewhouse for stepping up and making a beer to honor one the great American heroes of World War II, Spokane native Colonel Samuel Grashio. We should never forget what he and his fellow soldiers sacrificed and endured in defense of our nation.
No-Li Brewhouse just release We Are Spokane Golden Ale, a beer that honors Colonel Samuel Grashio. Seventy-four years ago he survived the grim and harrowing Bataan Death March, which saw 75,000 Filipino and American POWs forcibly marched 65 grueling miles to prison camps, all the while suffering ruthless, inhuman treatment from their captors. Thousands died along the way. Thousands upon thousands more died in the camps thereafter. Samuel Grashio didn’t just survive the march and the camps, but he was part of one of the most daring prison breaks in history.
You can hear about the experience in an interview Colonel Grashio did in 1995. It’ll kind of blow your mind.
Saying “Thank you for your service” to someone like Colonel Grashio seems inadequate. Making a beer in his honor seems an equally insufficient expression of our gratitude. However, remembering his sacrifice, his story, and the thousands upon thousands of other stories like his, is the best we can do to honor all that he and so many others gave for our country.
Here’s the press release from No-Li Brewhouse.
SPOKANE, USA — It’s been 74 years since Col. Samuel Grashio made one of the most daring escapes in American military history, but his memory is alive and well with the release of No-Li Brewhouse’s We Are Spokane Golden Ale.
The Spokane brewery’s 22-ounce bottle tells the story of Grashio, who was born and raised in the Lilac City and went on to become an Army Air Corps pilot during World War II, eventually retiring as a colonel. The story is close to the heart of No-Li, as co-owner Cindy Bryant is a relative of Col. Grashio.
During the war, Grashio was taken prisoner in the Philippines and survived the gruesome Bataan Death March, as well as a year in POW camps. With a handful of other prisoners, Grashio escaped into the jungle in April of 1943 and then joined up with Filipino guerilla soldiers with whom they fought alongside. Eventually, Grashio and other American soldiers were able to escape to Australia via submarine. The feat is often considered one of the most daring prison breaks of all time.
After his military career ended, the colonel returned to Spokane where he became the assistant to the president of Gonzaga University, which was also Grashio’s alma mater. He passed away in 1999, leaving behind a storied legacy recounted in books and documentary films.
“I’m so honored that No-Li would do such a tribute for my sweet dad,” said Judy Grashio Dawson, Col. Grashio’s daughter, who resides in Spokane.
The We Are Spokane series aims to tell stories about amazing people, groups and events that have shaped the unique culture of this growing and dynamic Northwest city. The 22-ounce bottles are now available in Eastern Washington and North Idaho grocery retailers.
“We love this city and the people in it, so we’re excited to celebrate them,” said No-Li’s Cindy Bryant. “We’re proud to tell this family story of mine, which a lot of people in Spokane probably haven’t heard of.”
In honor of Col. Grashio and the rest of our region’s armed forces, proceeds from the sales of We Are Spokane Golden Ale will be donated to the Fallen Heroes Project of Washington during No-Li’s FrostFest at the Spokane Arena on Dec. 9.
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