Paul Jenkins

A Brewery Run by Those Who Served

In 2005, Miguel Delgado, a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, was seriously wounded by a roadside bomb in while serving in Iraq. The injury forced him out of the Corps and into a situation many veterans face: medical problems and underemployment.

Fortunately, Delgado was hired by a new Chicago microbrewery, the Veteran Beer Company, as a brand ambassador. The brewery’s policy is to hire as many veterans as possible and provide them with both employment and camaraderie with others who had served.

The Veteran Beer Company was founded by Paul Jenkins, a retired Navy fighter pilot who also suffers from a disability. Disturbed by high rates of unemployment among veterans, he set out to do something about it–namely, start a brewery. Jenkins assembled a team starting with Eric Rine, a retired Marine Corps officer, as brewmaster.

The brewery’s Veteran Amber Lager and the Blonde Bomber American Blonde Ale are available in the Chicago area and Indiana. Rine has ambitious plans for the future: from his Chicagoland base, he plans to “advance and hold territory.” And hire more veterans as the brewery grows.

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