Yakima Chief Hops (YCH) has opened the 7th Annual Veterans Blend for pre-sale! YCH will donate $3 from every pound sold from this special collaborative hop blend to Stop Soldier Suicide, a nonprofit organization that works to reduce the number of suicide deaths among Veterans. The pre-sale window will run from June 24th to August 26th, and brewers are encouraged to place orders during this time to guarantee their supply.

This year’s blend will be comprised of:

  • Ekuanot®
  • Citra®
  • El Dorado®
  • Simcoe®
  • Crystal

This dynamic blend is expected to offer big berry notes, complemented by tropical citrus, and an underlying herbal character. This compelling combination of hops is ready to serve in any style of beer.

The blend was curated and selected by veterans working in the beer industry during the Craft Brewers Conference. Along with choosing the hops they want to feature in this impact-driven blend, they also nominate and vote for the nonprofit organization the blend will be raising funds for. This year, YCH is proud to announce its partnership with Stop Soldier Suicide. Every box and pouch of Veterans Blend sold will contribute funds to Stop Soldier Suicide’s mission to create a future where Veterans are at no greater risk for suicide than any other American.

Veterans are at 72% higher risk of suicide than civilians who haven’t served. Each year, over 6,000 United States military Veterans die by suicide. After losing friends and fellow service members to suicide, Stop Soldier Suicide was founded by three army combat Veterans in 2010. They realized the key to suicide prevention was to identify and understand underlying issues before they escalate to a point of crisis. By focusing on care and research that is specific to suicide reduction, Stop Soldier Suicide is aggressively working to reduce the military suicide rate by 40% no later than 2030. They serve and assist all branches of the military, regardless of discharge status.

Their suicide-specific clinical care is offered as ROGER wellness, which includes confidential and personalized mental health counseling, crisis intervention, and safety planning. “The name ‘Stop Soldier Suicide’, while great at describing who we are, can be a barrier for people seeking care, and we wanted something more human” explains Hannah Huntt, VP of Marketing and Communications at Stop Soldier Suicide.

“It was also important to find a name that felt inclusive for all branches of the military. The word ‘Soldier’ might not resonate as well with those in the Navy or Air Force.” Huntt emphasizes that service members and Veterans from all branches are eligible for their service, free of charge, regardless of discharge status. U.S. active-duty service members and Veterans can get connected to care 24 hours a day at GoRoger.org.

Stop Soldier Suicide uses technology to inform suicide prevention tactics with the Black Box Project. Breaking down data and patterns found in the smartphones and tablets of those who have died by suicide shows immense potential for the way suicide prevention care is informed. According to Huntt, one of the biggest issues they face in prevention is the lag in data, usually around two years. “The amount of time it takes to not only collect data but to parse it out, we don’t really know if our interventions are working on a large scale until two years later, and by then, obviously, it’s too late to correct course.”

Through this project, families temporarily loan their loved ones’ digital devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to a team of forensic experts who de-personalize and then examine the data. “This allows us to go upstream from that time and find touch points where we can reach through in real-time,” explains Huntt. “We will continue to innovate, try, test, and find the right path forward. Whether it’s through Roger or Black Box, it’s continued dedication until we get this right.”

Join YCH in raising awareness for Stop Soldier Suicide and their important mission. Brewers who use this hop blend are encouraged to help maximize the impact by donating to an organization that supports Veterans or involve the Veterans in their community with their brew. Purchase this year’s Veteran’s Blend here, learn more about Stop Soldier Suicide, and raise a pint for our dedicated service members.