2018 marks the fourth year of The RAM Restaurants & Breweries’ involvement in Ales for ALS, a charity started by Yakima, WA hop farmers Cheryl Hanses and Mike Smith. Ales for ALS was originally inspired by the ALS diagnosis of Cheryl’s older brother six years ago. Cheryl and Mike began by wanting to team up with their friends in the brewing business to raise money for ALS research and treatment efforts. Cheryl and her daughter came up with the phrase ‘Ales for ALS,’ got it trademarked, and what started as a small pilot project has now blossomed into a worldwide effort.
Last year, The Ram was the largest individual contributor to the cause, donating over $20,000. The RAM has raised $39,000 over the last four years. In 2018 the company goal is to raise $25,000. “Ales for ALS is a great event each year that brings together the national community of brewers to collectively raise money for ALS research,” says RAM Director of Brewery Operations Dave Leonard.
In addition to The RAM, the charity sees support from hundreds of US breweries, and even three international breweries in Japan, Germany and the UK. Each year, Cheryl and Mike donate experimental hops to the breweries involved, and in return, a portion of the beer sales are donated to the Ales for ALS charity. In 2018, the charity celebrates the four-year mark of the campaign and marks the $2 million milestone for money raised in support of ALS research and treatment efforts.
This year, RAM brewers teamed up to create a hop blend yielding the IPA dubbed ‘IPA 4 ALS,’ a hazy, golden hued IPA that bursts with tropical hop flavors of mango, peach, and citrus. This year’s blend features Eukuanot, Loral, and Simcoe along with a quartet of experimental hops. For 2018, brewers increased production of the special beer in hopes of further benefiting the cause and raising awareness.
With each purchase of a pint of IPA 4 ALS, $1 will be donated to the Ales for ALS charity. ‘IPA 4 ALS’ is on tap at all RAM locations now.