Their logo has a pair of wings, a beer glass and the nautical star. With that, it encompasses everything that the Veterans United Brewery stands for. The wings are included since most of the people involved were pilots in the Navy, Air Force or National Guard. The beer glass in the center portrays the focus of the business, which of course is some really damn good beer. The nautical star is the guiding light for sailors and that beer is their guiding light.
The Veterans United Brewery is operated and owned by veterans, and with memorabilia from every branch of the U.S. military adorning the taproom, the brewery has an intense heroic atmosphere.
“We try and look back, as well as look forward, by using a lot of retro-vintage artwork and to say to others, hey we recognize the service and sacrifice that people have taken in their lives,” said brewery founder, Ron Gamble, a former Naval Flight Officer. “Every veteran who’s served has sacrificed a portion of their life for the country and the military. That’s sort of my mission, to let people never forget that.”
Gamble’s wife gave him a beer making kit in 1999. That kit inspired the passion for brewing, and the kit sits in a display case at the bar to this day. Gamble, who served in the Navy toward the end of the Gulf War, received his MBA in business after he got out, something that would set the framework for today.
He worked for a few startup companies until 2007, when he went to Chicago and then Germany in order to get his Master Brewers Diploma. He worked his way up the chain from volunteer to head brewer while in New England, and along the way, he gained enough knowledge and experience to start the business.
The name Veterans United is the result of the company bringing a group of veterans together who all shared the same appreciation for craft beer.
The brewery has three year-round beers, Raging Bonde ale, HopBanshee India Pale ale and Scout Dog 44 Amber ale, to go along with many limited release and seasonal beers. You can find Veterans United beers in bars, restaurants and grocery stores across the Northeast Florida area.
“It’s not about donating money, time and product like a lot of business do,” Gamble said. “It’s recognizing that a person has taken a portion out of their life and served it in lieu of making a big salary.”