Brewing Up Something Positive
It has become somewhat of a tradition at BusinessWest to make Veterans Day a time to put a hard focus on those who have served, and also how veterans have helped shape our region’s business community. And over the years, there have been some great stories to tell.
But there are few better than the one involving a relatively new venture called Easy Company Brewing (see story on page 4).
It involves two veterans, Jeff St. Jean and John DeVoie (the latter of Hot Table Fame), who have come together on a very unique enterprise that blends history, entrepreneurship, some great beer, and an admirable willingness to do something to help those who have served their country.
Easy Company Brewing was created to celebrate the service, and many accomplishments, of the fabled ‘band of brothers’ from the 101st Airborne Division, as captured in the Stephen Ambrose book and HBO miniseries.
DeVoie and St. Jean, who have both served with the 104th Tactical Fighter Group based at Barnes Airport in Westfield (St. Jean still does), have long been enamored with the story of Easy Company, and came up with an idea to brew beers that would honor those men while also raising money to support nonprofits that provide services to veterans.
Indeed, following the model of Newman’s Own, 100% of profits are donated to several different nonprofits that support veterans, such as the Tunnel to the Towers Foundation, which has several programs to support first responders and veterans, including a program to build mortgage-free smart homes for catastrophically injured veterans and first responders, and another to provide mortgage-free homes to surviving spouses with young children.
Meanwhile, and this is the fun part, the beers being developed by the company follow the story of Easy Company, from their training in Georgia to the south of England, where they trained for D-Day; to the Normandy coast in France; and then to the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany.
The company’s efforts are drawing considerable support from individuals and businesses, as well they should. This is a noble mission, and one that deserves the backing of all those who want to recognize and honor our country’s veterans and do their part to help them.
In a way, Easy Company Brewing is making every day Veterans Day, and that’s an attitude worth emulating — by our businesses, our nonprofits, everyone.
We salute their efforts and encourage them to carry on.