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Have a pint for Pat: La Cumbre has brewed an IPA in honor of UNM soccer player Grange

Hops filled with hope is what goes into beers created to help find a cure for ALS.

The movement Ales for ALS was created by Loftus Ranches and Hopunion to benefit ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI), a research leader in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Former UNM soccer player Pat Grange, front row center, is surrounded by former teammates at a 2011 alumni game dedicated to him. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

Former UNM soccer player Pat Grange, front row center, is surrounded by former teammates at a 2011 alumni game dedicated to him. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

The disease leads to paralysis due to the death of motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord.

Through Ales for ALS, selected brewers are given a hop blend, without charge, in exchange for their participation in helping the cause, according to the Ales for ALS website.

Albuquerque’s La Cumbre Brewing Company has participated in Ales for ALS for the past three years. La Cumbre named its ale Grange’s Session IPA in honor of Albuquerque High and University of New Mexico soccer star Pat Grange.

Grange died in 2012 at age 29 of ALS. La Cumbre will donate $1 of every pint sold of Grange’s Session IPA to ALS TDI.

Grange’s Session is likely to stay on tap for the next six to eight weeks.

“ALS is a horrific disease with no known cure and minimal treatment options,” Grange’s brother Ryan Grange said. “It was Pat’s mission to bring awareness and help raise money for research in order to fight back against ALS. Having a pint for Pat and helping this worthy cause is a great way to continue Pat’s legacy and make a difference.”

Loftus Ranches is owned and operated by Mike and Cheryl (Hanses) Smith.

It one of the largest growers of hop varieties for the craft beer industry. Hopunion supplies craft beer brewers and home-brewers with premium hops and products.

“Loftus Ranch has long been one of our very favorite hop farms and we feel honored that they have invited us to participate in their Ales for ALS program since the beginning,” La Cumbre president and master brewer Jeff Erway said. “Not only are we proud to be able to help the Smiths with their cause but also to utilize this truly unique blend of hops. The blend is always created by some of our favorite brewers in the country, and this year is probably the best blend that we have tried.”

This year’s hop blend consists of 40 percent Equinox, 20 percent HBC 291, 10 percent Mosaic and other hop varieties.

“The aromas of guava, peaches, overripe pineapple and cannabis just bound out of the glass, and Grange’s Session is clearly the best Session IPA that we have brewed at La Cumbre and certainly one of the best that any of us have ever tried,” Erway said.

La Cumbre looks forward to continuing this yearly tradition with the Smiths and creating a “hop forward ale” in remembrance of Grange, according to Erway.

“It not only gives our local hop fanatics another reason to come by our pub to enjoy our fresh ales, but they get to know that they are drinking a great beer that supports a great cause,” he said.

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