Mispillion Brews for a Fallen Officer

When you have five police officers inside a brewery, something is up … and usually not in a good way. This time, the five off-duty cops were honoring a fallen friend while Mispillion River Brewing Company was brewing up $8,000 in money for a charity chosen by the quintet.

In late February, the brewery in Milford, Delaware honored the death of Patrolman Chad Spicer, who was killed in the line of duty on Sept. 1, 2009.

Mispillion River president Eric Williams teamed up with local law enforcement to honor Spicer by raising money for the National Criminal Enforcement Association’s Officer in Distress Fund.

Making a limited-edition bourbon-barrel aged Stout, going by the name of Short’n Stout, Mispillion River auctioned off 10 bottles and sold the other 90 at $30 each with the five officers standing under the newly christened fermenter in Spicer’s name.

“It was an honor to help these officers, and now friends, commemorate their friend and fellow officer,” Williams said. “It was a pleasure to meet his family and listen to the stories that they told. The whole experience has been overwhelming and we at Mispillion are very proud to help raise this money for the Officer in Distress Fund. We can’t wait to do it again next year”

It all came together after the brewery started an online crowd-funding campaign to get new equipment in the taproom. “We aren’t involving the department really, but we are craft beer lovers,” explained Officer TJ Webb. “But when I heard it was going to open, when I had a chance, I would stop in just to see how things were going and checking it out and I got to know Eric that way. We saw the fundraiser and started to put it together. It worked out pretty good.”

It’s a way that Mispillion River never thought that they would be able to become a part of the community of about 10,000 residents in central Delaware, 30 miles south of the state capital Dover.

“Since we opened, from day one it’s been a community brewery,” Williams  said. “That first weekend [Nov. 15, 2013] we were unprepared for the amount of people that showed up. They over-ran us.”

And it’s still going strong for the brewery that produces 880 barrels annually. “Going into our second year, the start of 2015, we expected some slow months in January and February, and they are still coming out strong.”

Williams said nationally that breweries are “getting back to the old way, where breweries were a local part of the community.”

He shared a story of a man in his 70s that comes into the bar to say “hi”.

“He didn’t want a beer at that time, he was just on his way to dinner with his wife and wanted to say hi to us,” Williams said.

The 10-percent alcohol Stout was brewed in the summer of 2014 and aged on whiskey oak barrels over the fall. “We wanted it to smooth out a bit and bring out some of the chocolate and vanilla notes that are in there,” Williams said. “The bourbon is there, but it’s not overpowering you.”

Mispillion River is looking to make a large batch for production to be ready on Sept. 1, 2015, which would be the six-year anniversary of Spicer’s death.

“This is an important mission for us,” Williams said.

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