Beering It Forward for Veterans Day (2021)

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Todd, Nov 11, 2021.

  1. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,513) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society Trader

    Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, during the end of the Cold War and Gulf War, I served in the United States Air Force within the Security Forces as a GLCM Ranger under the 501st Tactical Missile Wing at RAF Greenham Common in Newbury, England. When I wasn't guarding BGM-109G Gryphons (ground launched cruise missiles equipped with W84 thermonuclear warheads) or establishing launch sites at undisclosed locations to protect the west from ballistic nuclear strikes from the Soviet Union (aka "camping"), I was discovering beer and unknowingly building the foundation for BeerAdvocate.

    Airman Todd Alström, circa 1989, GLCM Ranger field training in a top secret location somewhere in the woods of England. Photo courtesy of Todd Alström.

    Back then, it seemed like every block had a pub. Sometimes more. "Beer schools" where I'd learn about British beer and pub culture. Thousands of times. Ingraining a deep respect for beer that not only remains today, but inspired me to homebrew, write my first beer review, create a community platform for beer geeks, travel the world, host over 70 beer festivals, go to brewing school, publish a monthly print beer magazine for over a decade, and meet some amazing people along the way. If I didn't enlist, there'd be no BeerAdvocate today.

    I'm thankful for all of that, thankful to all who served, and would like to beer it forward.
    1. I'm giving away an Extreme Beer Box to five (5) fellow military veterans of the United States Armed Forces. Head to the Extreme Beer Box: Veterans Day (2021) Giveaway post to learn more.
    2. BeerAdvocate is proud to sponsor this year's "Veterans Day (2021)" badge on Untappd.
    Good luck to those who enter, don't forget to check in if you're also on Untappd, and check out these 28 veteran-owned breweries on Hop Culture to expand your support.

    Finally, sound off if you're a veteran! I'd love to hear if you have a service and beer-related story.

    Cheers to all who served! :beers:
    KentT, chinchill, J-legend-K and 70 others like this.
  2. beergoot

    beergoot Poo-Bah (7,679) Oct 11, 2010 Colorado
    Society Trader

    Thanks, Todd.

    David R. Perl, MSgt, USAF (ret.)
  3. Shanex

    Shanex Poo-Bah (1,898) Dec 10, 2015 France
    Moderator Society Trader

    Thanks Todd.

    Can’t call myself a veteran (nor an American) really as I was never deployed abroad, but I spent a bit of time in a barrack way back.

    Shortly after two months of basic training I was asked to be the bartender of the Mess. For the non-military people it’s a place for NCO and NGO to hang out and have a couple of beers or whatever tickle your fancy. Bar was open 7-9am then midday-2pm and again 5pm to 11pm.

    Hence while I didn’t really need to go out of the barrack to drink I had my first “pub experience” then too. Our group of soldiers hanged out often while on leave to a pub less than one kilometer away.

    Unfortunately it was nearly 20 years ago and I can’t remember what I was drinking in the pub. Probably Belgian beers.

    Back at the Mess we were mostly serving cheap 1664 and I can clearly remember the price: 1€ for a 250ml one on draft. How things have changed since.

    Cheers to actual veterans from your side of the pond or anywhere else.
    KentT, WCKDVBZ, 25Comical and 26 others like this.
  4. DrOfGolf

    DrOfGolf Disciple (312) Jun 11, 2019 Florida
    Society Trader

    Thanks, Todd.

    US Army, (Ret)
    1966 - 1986
    #4 DrOfGolf, Nov 11, 2021
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2021
  5. jkrich

    jkrich Meyvn (1,363) Nov 1, 2001 Florida

    Todd, you look slim and trim in that photo!
    I served in the US Army from 1990 to 1995. I was also slim and trim; not so slim and trim now, but I try.
  6. alson

    alson Initiate (47) Jun 23, 2015 Michigan

    Thank you for your service Tod. Thank you again for the great site and all the information you put into it. Ed Hein
    United States Navy, USS Oglethorpe AKA 100 " LTLF" 1965- 1971.
  7. Thankin_Hank

    Thankin_Hank Poo-Bah (1,821) Nov 18, 2013 Texas

    James "Army" Armstrong, Engineman 3rd Class, USNR, Assault Boat Engineer, USS Denver LPD-9 1973-75. We put Marines on the beach.
    San Miguel Beer in Olongapo City, P.I. was 50 centavos.

  8. 2beerdogs

    2beerdogs Poo-Bah (2,895) Jan 31, 2005 California
    Society Trader

    Cheers to all of you veterans. And to my Pop, uncles, and cousins who served our country.
  9. 40ontarget

    40ontarget Zealot (536) Feb 7, 2012 Colorado

    Way back in the day I was in the US Army attached to a Turkish rocket battalion. Our warheads were also pointed at the Soviet Union and meant to stop their naval fleet from leaving the Black Sea through the Bosphorus. No matter where I went in the Army I tried the local food and drink. I'm still trying new things thanks to all of the BA's out there who post beers, music, etc. Happy Veterans Day to all those who have served!
    KentT, WCKDVBZ, 25Comical and 30 others like this.
  10. Mexican_Viking_Domerdoc

    Mexican_Viking_Domerdoc Initiate (143) Jan 12, 2021 Texas
    Society Trader

    Thank you, Todd!! Husband and I met in the Navy a while ago and the virtual beer fests have been our way of keeping sane with date nights at home during the pandemic. Thanks for bringing awesome beer to us!! Salud! :beers:
    Happy Veteran's Day!
  11. LarryV

    LarryV Poo-Bah (2,589) Jun 13, 2001 Massachusetts

    Sgt. Larry V.

    USAF 68-72 - Nam Vet

    Defensive Fire Control for B52's.

  12. colts9016

    colts9016 Poo-Bah (2,734) Jul 2, 2007 Idaho
    Society Trader

    I served 8 1/2 yrs Combat Veteran Iraq Army
  13. gmartinez

    gmartinez Initiate (87) Jan 18, 2012 North Carolina

    Thanks Todd,

    Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant

    Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Inherent Resolve veteran.

    2006 to Present

    Good luck to all participants, Semper Fidelis
  14. SoCalBeerIdiot

    SoCalBeerIdiot Defender (684) Mar 10, 2013 California

    That's awesome! Thanks for sharing!

    Thank you for your service, Todd. And "Thank you" to all BAs who've served. Cheers!
    KentT, WCKDVBZ, VABA and 18 others like this.
  15. TreeTopFlyer

    TreeTopFlyer Initiate (136) Sep 18, 2005 New Hampshire

    Thank you! Very kind and thanks all who served. I spent a couple (20+) of years in the Air Force.

    Just registered (I think...brand new to Discord).

    Cheers all.
    KentT, WCKDVBZ, 25Comical and 30 others like this.
  16. brewdlyhooked13

    brewdlyhooked13 Poo-Bah (3,989) Oct 7, 2002 Ohio

    Cheers fellow GLCM Ranger, I don't think I was aware of that . After serving in the Strategic Air Command at Grand Forks, ND (playing with Minuteman III's), I served in the 487th Tactical Missile Wing at Comiso Air Station in Sicily. Although the label on the BDU's said U. S. Air Force, all of our field instructions and procedures were 100% from Army manuals.

    GLCMs were a badass missile in the 80s. During my training at Davis-Monthan, my instructor, who knew I was from Cincinnati, told me that while B-52s could be given a flight plan to drop missiles on Riverfront Stadium, they could program the GLCM targeting for which quadrant of home plate they wanted it to hit. Either way, I can only presume he was not much of a Reds fan.

    Happy Veterans Day to you, all vets and the families who support them.
  17. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (3,254) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    Happy Veterans Day to you too, Todd, and to all of the other vets posting in this thread.

    I too have served in the US Army in what I call the most interesting 24 months of my life. Twelve of those months involved an 'all expenses paid' trip to sunny Southeast Asia (Vietnam) where I kept myself occupied as an airplane mechanic and drinking beer. Did not drink a single 33 Beer because of hearing it said too many times that that beer was brewed with embalming fluid.

    T.J. Brown
    U.S. Army '66 - '68
    KentT, FBarber, WCKDVBZ and 25 others like this.
  18. russpowell

    russpowell Poo-Bah (11,409) May 24, 2005 Arkansas
    Society Trader

    US Air Force 1981 to 2007

    First 4 years I was an HVAC Troop out at Titan II ICBM sites in Kansas.

    The rest of career I was Communication Electronics Maintenance the rest of my career, mostly Ground Radio. I too had several assignments that reeked of US Army.
    My assignment to RAF Croughton gave me 5 years to immerse myself in British Pub Culture. Changed my beer consumption habits for life. Another 3 in Germany sealed the deal. I wish I had been aware of this community at the time.
  19. captaincoffee

    captaincoffee Poo-Bah (1,814) Jul 10, 2011 Virginia
    Society Trader

    24 years active duty USAF (1994-2018) and a couple years Army civilian (2019-2021). God bless.
    KentT, WCKDVBZ, 25Comical and 20 others like this.
  20. Hilltopper

    Hilltopper Initiate (17) Jul 17, 2005 Connecticut

    82nd Airborne, Ranger, Jump Master. God, I was made of twisted steel and sex appeal back in the early 70s. Today, I appreciate the rompin' stompin badasses who have taken my place on the line. I will never regret my time in the Army. It opened my eyes made me a better man.
    KentT, russpowell, WCKDVBZ and 17 others like this.
  21. Jaycase

    Jaycase Meyvn (1,451) Jan 13, 2007 Illinois

    Reading this thread, all I can add is a humble thank you. Thank you, BA Veterans (and all Veterans). Thank you today and every day.
    KentT, FBarber, crisis1290 and 16 others like this.
  22. mushroomcloud

    mushroomcloud Poo-Bah (2,968) Mar 4, 2005 Texas

    Great thread, thank you for your service BA Veterans - very impressive.
  23. IrishMASMS

    IrishMASMS Initiate (197) Oct 6, 2019
    Society Trader

    Funny that @Todd, I was just up the road at RAF Upper Heyford while you were at the Common. When GC was shutting down, our squadron came to GC to pick up equipment and other gear.

    Thank you for this effort/giveaway, it is an excellent way to honor and recognize our fellow veterans.

    To my fellow veterans thank you for your service, whether you volunteered or drafted.

    To my fellow disabled veterans thank you for your service, and the ongoing pain and troubles from your service. Know that your fellow veterans, family, and yes even the VA benefits are there for you when you need them.
  24. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,657) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Society Trader

    I also had an all expenses paid trip to the shores of the South China Sea during 1970-71. Deployed in the jungles though, my MOS was 11 BRAVO.
  25. beerjerk666

    beerjerk666 Poo-Bah (3,052) Aug 22, 2010 Florida
    Society Trader

    My Pops seved in the AF as well, he was stationed in NY and then in Minot, ND. He did have some books about the Minuteman missiles. He was an MP for most of his time he served.

    Thanks to all of our veterans!

    Great idea Todd!
    KentT, WCKDVBZ, russpowell and 10 others like this.
  26. Ozzylizard

    Ozzylizard Poo-Bah (4,674) Oct 5, 2013 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Thanks Todd! Back in the day (69-72) I was an army SP5 working health physics at the chemical warfare school at Ft. McClellan, AL, followed by S2 NCO serving across the river from the Wurzberg brewery - wooden barrels and wooden taps. Our mission in Germany was to hold out 72 hours until troops could be airlifted in from stateside. While on maneuvers about the countryside, we were accompanied by SMLM representatives.
  27. PatKorn

    PatKorn Initiate (175) Aug 30, 2007 California

    19K US Army '87-90' 4/32 Armor 3rd AD Kirsch Goens West Germany
  28. Absolut

    Absolut Zealot (552) Sep 19, 2011 California

    A sincere Thank you to all who have served and sacrificed.
    KentT, russpowell, WCKDVBZ and 9 others like this.
  29. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (7,067) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    16H and 16K. Surveillance Systems Operator (otherwise known as a radar operator). From 73 to 76 at a missile control center at the Wasserkupe Germany (then West Germany).
    KentT, russpowell, WCKDVBZ and 11 others like this.
  30. 25Comical

    25Comical Initiate (44) Oct 3, 2017 Illinois

    The Rock
    Bigrock likes this.
  31. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (7,067) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    Sounds like you were stationed pretty close to where I was stationed. We used to joke that the way we would know war had started, is when our base was wiped off the face of the earth (as we were stationed very close to the East German border and our base was considered a prime target).
    #31 John_M, Nov 12, 2021
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2021
  32. PatKorn

    PatKorn Initiate (175) Aug 30, 2007 California

    The Fucking Rock
    Freezing in winter and smelled like cow shit in summer
    I fondly remember getting 20/.5L cases of fresh Lisher export at the class six for $6.80 with bottles, $9 without
    Good times
  33. 25Comical

    25Comical Initiate (44) Oct 3, 2017 Illinois

    Army 86-90. Bad Kreuznach 8th ID. BK was a great place. Kaserne was by the Nahe river. I was lucky. Stopped at The Rock one cold ass day during a FTX to top off the CUCV and get a hot shower and visit the PX. Enjoyed some great beers over there. Class 6 was a busy place for sure. I remember at Hohenfels sometimes the chow halls would convert to "canteens " in the evening and if you weren't on duty you could buy 2 beers. They had racks of beer stacked up. I still have SMLM cards we'd see them around and about always watching.
  34. 25Comical

    25Comical Initiate (44) Oct 3, 2017 Illinois

    My father was a navy WW2 vet who as at Leyte in '44. My maternal grandfather was a WW 1 army vet who fought in France. In WW2 he was with the Red Cross in France. My scoutmaster was WW2 navy veteran. I grew up in a town full of vets. Thank you all who have served.
  35. Ozzylizard

    Ozzylizard Poo-Bah (4,674) Oct 5, 2013 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    3rd ID - Wurzburg. We had people at Wildflecken (2/15, if memory serves) (At M-60 practice we'd shoot across the border and start fires with tracers) and other places. My most vivid memories of time spent there are my initial stay at an (alleged) SS prison in Frankfurt during in-processing (there were bars on some of our rooms) and my first time seeing a German national pissing along the autobahn berm. After that it was all massive quantities of beer and wishing I was elsewhere. I DROSed from Hohenfels (Forgive me if I've screwed up any spellings!)
    25Comical, KentT, russpowell and 8 others like this.
  36. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (7,067) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    Lovely Wild chicken (as the place was so fondly called by those unfortunate enough to be stationed there). Heard nothing but awful stories of the training site there. Some of the local bars in Gersfeld wouldn't let soldiers from the base in if they were from Wildflecken (which was a problem, unless we could convince them we were from the Wasserkupe).

    One the dumber things I did was to drive over to the border (which of course was strictly verboten) with some buddies, and throw rocks at the fence area to see if we could set off a mine. Supposedly, both sides of the border were mined. Luckily for us, we were unsuccessful.

    Good times (if you were an idiot).
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  37. Ozzylizard

    Ozzylizard Poo-Bah (4,674) Oct 5, 2013 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Can't say I've ever heard the "Wild Chicken" reference before. My trips up there involved hauling (in a duece-and-a half) my foldable silouettes of soviet-block armored equipment for training purposes (my S2 function overlapped S3 as well), if they didn't get broken hitting the underpasses on the autobahn at 80 klicks/hr. My best friend stateside was shipped to Wildflecken - I remember the the haunted look in his eyes when we'd quickly meet and he'd take charge of my silouettes - he was more strack than me and even he had a hard time adjusting to discipline at Wildflecken. When we DROSed, he added a ChemE degree and joined the DOW baby-burners. No beers at Wildflecken. Later (like 2020) I drove by a sign pointing to Wildflecken and a cold shiver ran up my spine. Still.
    25Comical, KentT, russpowell and 3 others like this.
  38. Sabtos

    Sabtos Poo-Bah (9,473) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio
    Society Trader

    Wow, very cool, I didn't know that. Nice gesture too!
    KentT and Todd like this.
  39. hojo813

    hojo813 Initiate (39) Aug 3, 2018 Virginia

    Late to the thread but happy veteran's day to all my fellow vets.

    I got into homebrewimg when I first got into the army waaay back in 2002. Unit was already in Afghanistan so a few of us were waiting to in process and get our CIF issues. I got to talking with another soldier about how shitty the beer was on tap at the local watering hole.

    Now I had just turned 21 that summer. He looked over at me and asked if I had ever thought of brewing my own. He asked if I liked IPAs...I just looked at him and said "I e never heard of them. What do they make?"

    He just laughed. He gave me a brief rundown of the different beer styles and I was curious. We went back to play playstation and he had New Belgium Ranger and down the rabbit hole I went!
    It blew my mind. Sadly it is no longer available in thenoriginal form.

    Once we got back from overseas, we bought a kit and made a few brews. Nothing fancy. We only did it because we were privates and it was cheaper to brew our own.

    I got out in 2008 and there is a place in my home town, Queen City Brewing, that is a taproom plus you can go in and pay to brew. They actually do all the work. All you have to do is pour in the malt extract and hop additions. Then you walk out and come back to bottle it up.

    It made me eager to get into then craft beer scene. Luckily Virginia is loaded with them. And then in the barking of 2018, I finally bought my own setup when my 1st son was born. I wanted a hobby that kept me at home...I hate golf.

    And now here I am! Ive met so many that have helped me.
    25Comical, KentT, russpowell and 8 others like this.
  40. jjboesen

    jjboesen Meyvn (1,318) Feb 1, 2002 Maryland

    United States Navy (1975-1979) Served aboard the USS Nimitz (CVN-68), where I travelled the Mediterranean Sea with the Sixth Fleet.
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