I wanted to share something special we have brewing- see what I did there? On Saturday, April 30th, we’re releasing our newest beer, a Session IPA, in memory of my Dad, Mike Kinnan.
My Dad is remembered by all who knew him for his fun-loving spirit and ability to bring humor to every situation. He was in radio most of my life so music always filled our homes and hearts. He was quick with wit, puns, dad jokes and a “that’s what she said”. He also loved KU sports, his special trips with friends, sharing life advice and enjoying moments with every member of his family.
He was diagnosed with ALS in December of 2008. The four years following that life-changing moment were filled with absolute heartache. He went from telling jokes and skipping arm in arm with me through parking lots to embarrass my Mom, to being unable to move or speak above a whisper. We lost him on February 11, 2013.
The way I explain ALS is that it paralyzes you, then it kills you. That’s it. It attacks the cells in your brain and spinal cord so they can’t tell your muscles to move. There is no cure and usually ALS patients have only a life expectancy of 3-5 years after symptoms start showing.
You all remember the ice bucket challenge in 2014 to raise money for ALS. That was such a powerful movement. My husband, Joshua, and I loved every single video. People who had loved my Dad or just wanted to support us were throwing ice on themselves and it brought so much awareness to a horrific disease in a fun way. My Dad would have loved the laughter it created. But, even with the money raised then, there’s still no cure. So we keep going. ALS families need help.
Riverbank Brewing is honored to participate in Ales for ALS, a fundraising program where craft breweries create delicious beer from a custom hop blend donated to us in return for portions of pints sold going to ALS research at the ALS Therapy Development Institute.
On April 30th we’ll be tapping That’s What Mike Said, paying homage to my amazing Dad. Joshua and I brewed this beer with extra love while blaring Dad’s favorite music and shedding a few tears. We’re grateful to be rolling in to May, ALS Awareness Month, with our new beer. We are so looking forward to you all enjoying a pint knowing you’ll help us give back. Check out all of our beers on tap here.
Thank you for letting me share my story- it’s always hard. That’s What Mike Said.
Please visit ALS TDI and Ales for ALS to learn more about how you can help ALS families.