If you drank Melvin Brewing’s Firehouse Red Ale from Thai Me Up this fall or winter some of your beer money is going to help Jackson Hole Fire/EMS.
Thai Me Up General Manager Julien Lacourse said the restaurant originally decided to create a fundraiser to help its firefighter neighbors with the rebuild of Fire Station No. 1, which is underway. Thai Me Up sits directly across Pearl Avenue from the Fire/EMS headquarters.
But then Saddle Butte went up in flames in early September. So Melvin Brewing tweaked its plan, deciding to give the money raised to the Jackson Firefighters Association so the department would have some freedom when it came to spending the proceeds.
“Seeing those planes go over during that fire just really brought it all into perspective,” Lacourse said. “It’s remarkable no one lost a house or a life. We thought if we could raise this money and it could go toward equipment that keeps them safer or increases response times and they can continue to help us out here in town then that’s what it’s all about.”
Melvin Brewing takes on several philanthropic endeavors each year with fundraisers. It has helped Teton County nonprofits like the Teton Freedom Riders, the Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club, the Teton Artlab, Teton County Search and Rescue and Wyoming Stargazing.
When they settled on helping the firefighters Melvin brewers came up with a recipe for “an easy drinking red weiss-style” beer and tapped it in October, Lacourse said. It was brewed using Thai Me Up’s three-barrel system, where Melvin was born.
“It took 10 days to brew and it flew off the shelves once people came to town,” Lacourse said.
They sold 552 Firehouse Red Ales at $6 per 16-ounce beer, raising $3,312 for the firefighters, he said. He did the math when they recently kicked the last keg.
Jackson Hole Fire/EMS Capt. Tyler Dunn said the extra money was unexpected and appreciated.
“We are fortunate in this community that people really embrace us in the things we do,” Dunn said. “There’s an outpouring of support.”
The Jackson Firefighters Association provides funding for firefighter training courses and continuing education, lifesaving equipment and emergency funds for the families of injured firefighters.
“The Jackson Firefighters Association is there when the county can’t afford it,” the organization’s website says, “and supports local firefighters just like they support the Jackson community.”
The association’s primary fundraiser is the Fireman’s Ball, which it has hosted for the past 77 years.
Dunn said they haven’t decided what they’ll spend the $3,312 on, but it might go toward painting the Jackson Hole Fire/EMS logo on the floor of the new fire station when it’s completed next year.