TAPS to Release Tribute Beer For Veterans

Starting a Veteran’s Day tradition, TAPS Fish House & Brewery will release its award-winning “Silent Warrior” American strong ale on Nov. 11, with a significant portion of profits benefitting a military retreat in Virginia that helps combat veterans reintegrate into civilian life.

The limited-edition tribute brew, a gold-medal winner at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival® (GABF) in the Wood and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer category, is the brainchild of TAPS founder-owner Joe Manzella, whose father-in-law, Chuck Cardamon, is a retired U.S. Navy SEAL, BUD/S Class 114 LPO.

Sales of Silent Warrior will support Virginia Beach-based LZ-Grace (Landing Zone-Grace, Lz-grace.com), which accommodates Special Operations Forces from all branches of the military returning home from deployment.

Beginning Nov. 11, the rich, full-bodied Silent Warrior brew, with an ABV of 10 percent, will be available by draft and in 750-ml bottles at TAPS’ locations in Brea, Irvine and Corona, CA.

Approximately 800 bottles and four kegs of the beer are available. Including tax, the 750-ml bottle is priced at $39.99, with 10-oz. glasses from the tap going for $10.

TAPS brewers David Huls, Kyle Manns and Jonathan Chiusano created the ale, which is mahogany in color with notes of caramel, brown sugar, dates, figs, oak, vanilla and aged bourbon. Manzella’s intent was to tie the beer to the theater of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, where both dates and figs are cultivated, reflecting the authenticity of the region.

TAPS plans to release Silent Warrior, which is aged for 18 months in Woodford Reserve Bourbon barrels, every Veteran’s Day.

“We already have another batch in barrels, and will continue that process every six months or so,” Manzella said. “This will allow us to blend both old and young barrels to hit a consistent flavor profile.”

Added Manzella: “Our returning troops deserve every resource available to them, and this is our small way of supporting the work being performed day in and day out by the fantastic staff at LZ-Grace, founded by Lynnette Bukowski, whose late husband was a 32 year veteran Navy SEAL.”

Silent Warrior is heavy on the nose with a prominent scent of rich, dried fruit and hints of mint and oranges covered with a dusting of cocoa. The taste is rich, chewy, rounded and smooth, with complex hints of citrus, cinnamon and cocoa. Toffee, caramel, chocolate and spice notes also abound. Almost creamy at first, the brew has a finish that is silky smooth with a long, satisfyingly warm tail.

Since 2001, TAPS has won 97 medals at beer competitions at the regional, state, national and international levels. TAPS is a three-time winner of Mid-Size Brewpub and Brewers of the Year at GABF (2015, 2011, and 2010).

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