First responders honored with craft beer

Pale ale called Protect & Serve now on tap

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  • From left Michael Adam, David Mecca and new friend Amanda Linklater, a former police officer, come together at Mohawk House for the premiere of Protect & Serve, a new craft beer from Angry Erik. Photos by Rose Sgarlato

  • Slav and Kathryn Jouvrav of Andover at Mohawk House's Angry Erik event.

  • Celebrating Protect & Serve, from left: Mohawk House owner Steve Scro, Ana Stefano, Byram Police Chief Pete Zabita, Stephanie Zabita, Angry Eric owners Heidi and Erik Hassing, Sparta Police Chief Neil Spidaletto, Sparta Deputy Mayor Josh Hertzberg and Tina Young.

By Rose Sgarlato

— Mohawk House and Angry Erik Brewing have joined forces to honor and respect dedicated first responders of Sussex County with the production of a new beer series: Sussex County’s Finest.

In his ongoing effort to put forth Mohawk House as a community gathering place, owner Steve Scro had the idea to honor special people by creating a craft beer. Angry Erik, a craft brewery in nearby Lafayette, has enjoyed a great relationship with Mohawk House for the past four years.

“I always wanted to partner up with Angry Erik and do something good. I do believe that the future is in special batches of beer, “ Scro said.

Each of the three new beers in the series will be part of a fundraising event for local police, firefighters, EMTs and their families. The first in the group, a pale ale honoring police officers called Protect & Serve, was introduced to the public last Thursday, Nov. 9 at Mohawk House. The other two, honoring firefighters and EMTs, will be rolled out in the near future.

Heidi and Erik Hassing, owners of Angry Eric Brewing and Scro, share the same philosophy that living in a small community brings you closer to first responders in a different way.

“Not only are first responders hardworking and dedicated individuals who help protect our friends and our families, but often they are our friends and family members,” said Heidi Hassing. “Mohawk House has been one of our best customers. So it was easy for Steve, Erik and I to think about a special way to honor them and really just to say thank you.”

Protect & Serve, described as a pale ale with a newer hop evoking citrusy and nutty flavors, also debuted on Oct. 28 at an Angry Erik fundraiser for an 11-year old Hampton boy Jack Jacinto who has leukemia and is the son of New Jersey State Police Detective Luis Jacinto. The Nov. 9 release will benefit a Sussex County police cause of choice, said Hassing.

There were several locals last Thursday evening at Mohawk House who related to the cause while enjoying the tasting.

“It is a nice light IPA,” said Lake Mohawk resident Amanda Linklater, a former police officer in Michigan. “I also like Angry Erik and wanted to support it.”

Sparta Police Chief Neil Spidaletto and Byram Police Chief Pete Zabita also came out to show their gratitude for the nod to the police, and to have a beer.

“I would like to thank Angry Erik Co. for their recognition of law enforcement with this brew release," Spidaletto said. "Support from their business and others is greatly appreciated by the men and women who wear the badge every day to try and do exactly what this brew has been named, Protect and Serve.”

There is a limited run on Protect & Serve but adding to the excitement Mohawk House is offering half-price on a growler of the beer on Sundays and Mondays.

“The beer has been very well-received," Scro said. "It’s a very approachable IPA, and it's a great way for people to share stores and drink a locally made beer.”

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