As a brewery in its 2nd year, Cartridge has already celebrated a number of “firsts” … first awards, first cans, first experimentals, first barrel-aged. But this first? This one was special – and deeply significant. Most breweries laud a specialty bottle release, but few have the personal history – the sheer gravitas – of Cartridge’s inaugural bottle: MOTTO: RENDEZVOUS WITH DESTINY.
“Like a thunderbolt from the skies …” So marks the history of the iconic 101st Airborne Division, the only air assault division of the U.S. Army. A unit born in 1942 with the imminent promise of a “rendezvous with destiny,” and whose Screaming Eagles proceeded to do just that during WWII and beyond, becoming one of the most deployed and distinguished divisions in Army history. Its renowned 506th Regiment was the illustrious Band of Brothers, made famous by the Ambrose book, HBO series and its nod to Shakespeare’s legendary Henry V speech.
It’s also the division and regiment that Cartridge’s very own Kyle Hackbarth, co-founder and COO, sought following the events of 9/11.
“I enlisted during a time of conflict … we were already in Afghanistan,” Kyle recalls. “But when you’re chasing both a job and a unit, the esprit de corps of a unit like this mattered to me – I chose the 101st because of its history, because it was a job that was combat arms, because I knew we do something.”
Kyle deployed to Iraq with the 101st’s 506th – the first combat deployment of the regiment since WWII.
“The 101st … it made me a better version of myself. We’re a rucksack, sleep-in-the-mud, burn-out-our-heels kind of group … the operational tempo took a very young 21-year-old through a lot of physical pain, built intestinal fortitude – made me who I am. If I hadn’t had leadership mentoring from that division, I wouldn’t have gone for officer.”
Now the picture comes clear: a brewpub built on the grounds of a historic ammunitions factory, a veteran-owned business that works hard to honor both their storied past and his military service … of course, they chose to mark the occasion of their 1st specialty bottle release with a tribute to the 101st, in designation as well as outward form.
Introducing Motto: Rendezvous with Destiny Bourbon Barrel-aged Stout (10.4% ABV, 50 IBU), a big, bold, drinkable stout brewed specifically to soak up the boozy bourbon character of its Maker’s Mark barrels. The label is graced with men from the 101st, the name their Screaming Eagles’ motto.
While this is the third barrel-aged beer in the brewery’s “Motto” series, it was the first specialty bottle release in their history – more than 100 Rendezvous with Destiny bottles went on sale Sunday, March 27, and sold out within a few hours. If this is any indication of what’s to come for the brewery’s bottle release future, everyone is already excited about the next one.
MORE ABOUT CARTRIDGE BREWING: Veteran-owned, born within the restored historic Peters Cartridge Factory, located alongside the Little Miami River and bike trail, this isn’t your typical brewpub. Opening in the fall of 2020, the Cartridge team takes hospitality seriously – far above the standard restaurant-bar model, more focused and deliberate than most big production breweries. Brewing a balanced, crushable family of beers within its 15 bbl brewhouse (from lagers and IPAs to the light, eclectic and fruity), offering signature craft cocktails and curated wines, plus a full kitchen and fresh, upscale pub menus – all within 10,000 sq.ft. of restored industrial space … a community hub once again just north of Cincinnati, Ohio.