Cheers to our veterans!

By on November 4, 2015


Fifty percent of the profits at Founding Fathers Brewing Company in Minnesota go towards supporting America’s military families through military non-profits. We’ll drink to that!

Fifty percent of the profits at Founding Fathers Brewing Company in Minnesota go towards supporting America’s military families through military non-profits. We’ll drink to that!


Next Wednesday, Nov. 11, is Veteran’s Day. I think I can speak for most veterans when I say we don’t need to be rewarded for our past service, but boy, it feels nice when we are.

Over the years I’ve seen a lot of businesses, small and large, extend gratitude toward veterans in the form of free or reduced cost items. For example, Applebee’s gives vets a free meal on Veteran’s Day. (They also offer 10 percent off every day of the year!)

I’ve been thinking about writing a veteran-themed Hop’in Around for a while, after I discovered Founding Fathers Brewing Company. The Minnesota brewer makes three styles, an amber, a light, and a pale. They are rather pedestrian beers, but the story behind the brand is great. Founding Fathers is the brainchild of Phil Knutsen, who started the brewery with the mission to support American military families. Fifty percent of the company’s profits go to supporting American military families through military non-profits. One such non-profit is the American Legion’s Armed Forces Relief Society.

I found my first Founding Fathers brew at an American Legion. Of course, each Legion is different, so availability of the beers changes venue to venue. I’ve had the light beer at the New Holland and Ephrata Legions. Founding Fathers has also partnered with the Pennsylvania VFW, so look for it there too.

Locally, several breweries have ties to military service. Jeff Harless from JoBoy’s retired from military service and moved to Pennsylvania where he met his wife Jo. Veterans Nick Cox and Tim Kreider returned from active duty to start Cox Brewing Company in Elizabethtown (stay tuned to Hop’in Around for a full rundown on this new brewery soon).

I wanted to mention veterans can get a 10 percent discount off their food any time at The Sturgis Haus, but they closed! (I’m sad to see another local brewer close, too many too soon.)

The Sturgis Haus was part of Thank a Vet, a discount program organized by the Lancaster County Recorder of Deeds. The office provides a free photo ID to county veterans who have their DD-214 honorable discharge papers or other honorable discharge papers filed on record. With the card, dinner at Lily’s on Main is 10 percent cheaper for vets; downstairs in the Ephrata Main Theatre popcorn is free for vets — but, you’ll have to pay regular price for your beer. Yes, you can have a beer while watching a movie!

The Vineyard and Brewery at Hershey offer ten percent off all purchases. The best way for a vet to hire a designated driver is through Expressions Limousine of Lancaster, who offer a 10 percent discount off their base rate for any transportation service

This is, by far, not a complete list of local businesses with ties to veterans, so if I missed you, I apologize and I thank you. If I missed you, drop me an e-mail at and I’ll give your business a shout out on Twitter or Facebook on Veteran’s Day! If you are traveling, a small list of vet-owned breweries around the United States can be found at


Michael C. Upton works as a freelance writer specializing in arts and leisure, covering subjects ranging from funk punk to fine wine. He invites your comments and suggestions at

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