Ales for ALS

YAKIMA, WA - Brewers around the world can get a free Yakima Valley hop blend for free in exchange for a percentage of their proceeds to ALS research.

Ales for ALS started when Mike and Cheryl Smith had ALS affect their family. 

Their hop farm, Loftus Ranches, and Yakima Chief Hops donate hops to brewers. This year, brewers can choose between two hop blends to brew their beer.

Over the past seven years, Ales for ALS raised 3.5 million dollars to the ALS Therapy Development Institute (TDI) said program director, Mike Shannon. 

Shannon said that's about 5 percent of their total operating budget. 

"[The ALS TDI's] purpose is to create drugs and treatments for the disease, and due to some of that funding, we have been quite successful," said Shannon.

According to the website, there are 22 Washington participating brewers. 

Due to the pandemic, Ales for ALS had 25% less brewer participation last year. This year, the goal is to reach more than 225 brewers and raise 700,000 dollars. 

"Majority of our brewers who have absolutely no connection to ALS, and so the fact that they're still willing to do that during a time like this, is pretty remarkable," said Shannon. 

Bale Breaker Brewery in Yakima releases its brew in late June.