The latest brew created by 16 Mile Brewing Company benefits an organization close to the heart of co-owner Brett McCrea, who spent ten years working in the field of counterterrorism for the United States Government. The collaboration came from conversations Brett had with a crew chief for the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment at the opening of 16 Mile’s Taphouse in Newark, Delaware.
“Most people are familiar with the movie Blackhawk Down,” Brett explained. “The crew and the pilots represented in the movie are representatives of the 160th, and are also known as the ‘Night Stalkers.’ They support the aviation needs of US Special Operations forces all over the world. As our conversation ended, he suggested I contact the Night Stalkers Association to see if we could arrange for a collaboration.” The Night Stalker Association renders assistance to members of the 160th, their widows and orphans through loans, gifts, camaraderie and personal assistance. Due to Brett’s background and the brewery’s mission to not only brew unique, quality beers, but to provide assistance to worthy organizations, a collaboration was formed between the brewery and the Night Stalker Association.
On October 3, 2013, to mark the 20th anniversary of the Battle in Mogadishu, which inspired the movie, 16 Mile Brewing Company created Night Stalk Stout, a brew expected to have 10.0 percent ABV with 55 IBUs. The intention was to create a beer that represented elements of the 160th and the missions flown throughout the world. 16 Mile wanted to create a bold beer, while also taking into account the environments of the 160th. They chose an imperial stout since it is one of the boldest beers in the 16 Mile line, and because that type of beer is as black as the moonless night the unit prefers for flying.
The brewery soaked oak spires in a case of Lexington bourbon in honor of the regiment’s home base of Kentucky, adding the bourbon during the pre-fermentation stage in order to add to the body of the stout. Green cardamom and ginger, spices commonly used in foods from countries like Somalia and Afghanistan, were added during the boil and dry-hopping stages. During the post-fermentation stage, honey was added. Honey farming is a thousand-year old tradition in Iraq and rounded out the black malts in the stout. The cardamom, ginger and honey were chosen to represent the countries where the 160th often flies missions.
The Night Stalker Stout will take roughly 30 days to mature, and the brewery hopes to bring it to market in early November. Proceeds from the beer go to the Night Stalkers Association. More information is available about the Night Stalker Association at their website. Visit 16 Mile to learn more about their line of Collaboration Brews for a Cause.