Hannaford associate Dennis Walker (center) appears on the label of Clown Shoes Circle of Heroes Hazy IPA, along with Category Manager Melanie Daigle, who co-developed the recipe, and Hannaford Beer Category Analyst Will Arrington.
To highlight the work of front-line workers such as grocery associates during the pandemic, Boston craft beer company Clown Shoes has created a tribute product: Circle of Heroes, a limited-edition beer line. This year, Circle of Heroes will release three limited-edition offerings, each with a different recipe in honor of a different Hannaford Supermarkets associate. The first edition, which arrived in Hannaford stores May 1, features Dennis Walker, a military veteran and single dad who works at the Waldoboro, Maine, Hannaford store.
“We jumped at the chance to release a beer to honor front-line workers, and grocery associates in particular,” noted Dan Lipke, head brewer at Clown Shoes. “It was also great fun to use a recipe created by Melanie from the Hannaford team, a hazy IPA brewed with oats and a blend of Mosaic and Lemondrop hops. Cheers and thank you from the Clown Shoes Beer team!”
Hannaford Category Manager Melanie Daigle and her fiancé, Matt Charette, are amateur home brewers who created the recipe for the special release. Pale in color, with an aroma redolent of citrus and juicy melon, the 7% ABV brew offers a full hoppy body with a creamy finish from oats and wheat malt.
“We have been home brewing and creating new recipes for the past 10 years,” said Daigle. “We love to try using different hop varieties, and the Lemondrop hop has been one of our favorites! It has been a dream come true to have a recipe we created brewed by Clown Shoes, as we have always enjoyed their IPAs.”
For each of the three editions of Circle of Heroes, a total of $6,000 will go to the featured associate’s charity of choice – $3,000 donated from Clown Shoes and $3,000 donated from Hannaford. Walker chose the Manchester, Maine-based Travis Mills Foundation, which helps support post-9/11 veterans who were wounded during their service through long-term programs that help them overcome physical obstacles, strengthen their families, and provide rest and relaxation.
Subsequent editions of Circle of Heroes will spotlight Eric Strout, manager of the Newport, Maine, Hannaford who also works as the local fire chief for the town of Levant, and Alicia Campbell Mullings, manager of customer service at Hannaford’s New Windsor, New York, store, and busy mom of kids involved in myriad extracurricular activities.