Drink delicious beer and grant wishes for the kids who deserve it the most? Done and done!
Get yourself over to Westhampton Beach Brewing Co. on Friday, August 18, grab a pint of their super refreshing Tropical Storm New England IPA and be part of their efforts to help the Marty Lyons Foundation to grant big wishes to brave children enduring terminal illness.
It’s been 41 years since big-hearted, former NFL defensive lineman for the New York Jets, Marty Lyons, started using his notoriety to help children suffering with myriad illnesses, giving them the opportunity, courage and strength to wish for more. His whole idea for the foundation culminated in a week of highs and lows back in 1982. Within a matter of days, he experienced the birth of his first son, and then in quick succession the loss of both his dad and a young boy he’d been working with as a Big Brother. The child had died from leukemia, and the shock of such a young person dying at the hands of terminal illness knocked Lyons with a linebacker’s force.
Since then, the Marty Lyons foundation has granted the wishes of thousands upon thousands of children who deserve a giant heaping of happiness. It’s a mission that moved Westhampton Brewery owners Brian Sckipp and John Salvaggio, childhood friends from Kings Park, Long Island, who grew up to be teachers and, eventually, brewery owners with bent toward helping their community.
“We’ve been very involved in our community ever since we were young kids. As teachers, we’re constantly involved in charity events in school and we wanted to keep that mentality and atmosphere at the brewery, too,” says Sckipp. “We’ve always been about giving to our community and people in need.”
Indeed, Westhampton Beach Brewing Co. has given countless dollars to organizations supporting veterans, local fire departments, environmental issues with so much more on tap.
Adds Salvaggio: “We’ve been doing this kind of work since very beginning; it’s always been part of our original plan and mission statement.”
So what’s the beer like? In a word: Refreshing! The perfect August brew to get you through the dog days. If the term IPA makes you leery, fear not — Salvaggio and Sckipp made this storm of a sipper in the New England style.
“Here’s the difference — West Coast IPAs are hop-driven and the hops are more cooked into the brew, so that’s what gives the bitter notes. But the hazy, juicy style we’re talking about for Tropical Storm is dry hopped,” says Sckipp, “so some hops are cooked in but they’re added in the germination process to bring out more citrus notes on the nose and the palate. It has a nice tangerine finish, and more mouthfeel.”
The unfiltered aspect make its appearance a little hazy in appearance (kind of like the weather in a low-pressure tropical storm — get it?!), adding to the beer’s full texture.
Sckipp and Salvaggio also employ a trio of hops here (New Zealand Kohatu, Centennial and Idaho #7, for all your beer nerds out there) that are both brewed and dry-hopped, resulting in a citrusy flavor profile that’s both zingy and easy drinking.
The fundraiser for the Marty Lyons Foundation kicks off from 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday, August 18, at the Westhampton Beach Brewing Co. (220 Roger’s Way, Suite 1, 631-998-0800), and 10 percent of all sales of Tropical Storm go straight to the Marty Lyons Foundation.
And it doesn’t end there — anytime you buy a pint, a can or a four-pack (SRP $18.99) of Tropical Storm, that same donation will be made to MLF. You’ll find it on tap around town, but also in markets like King Kullen, Stew Leonard’s, Uncle Giuseppe’s and Stop and Shop. And if you don’t see it at your favorite shop or watering hole? Ask! Don’t be shy — it’s for the kids, after all.