MOXEE — It’s called Bubba’s Brew, an extra pale ale on tap at Bale Breaker Brewing Co. near Yakima, and while the new brewery has other beers available, this one is special. Mike and Cheryl Smith, whose children own the brewery, say they hope Bubba’s Brew will help find a cure for a disease that has stalked the family for generations.
The disease is Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, an incurable disease that affects nerves in the brain and spinal cord.
“Bubba” is 56-year-old Scott Hanses, Cheryl’s brother, who has ALS, as do two other members of her family.
Bubba’s Brew is the Central Washington manifestation of a nationwide fundraiser in which brewers have agreed to donate $1 for each pint of beer they sell using a mixture of hops that aren’t yet commercially available. Nearly 50 breweries have agreed to participate, and Mike said he hopes the number can grow to several hundred, enough to generate as much as $1 million a year for ALS research.
There are about 3,000 craft brewers in the U.S.
The campaign, Ales for ALS, grew out of a suggestion from their daughter, Meghann Quinn, who owns Bale Breaker with her husband, Kevin Quinn, and her brother, Kevin Smith.