Founders Brewing Co., a Michigan craft brewery, made a special beer label for its pale ale to commemorate the christening of the USS Gerald R. Ford. Newport News Shipbuilding approached the brewery about creating the label marking the Navy's newest aircraft carrier's christening on Nov. 9, in Newport News, Va. (Founders Brewing Co. / via AP)
NEWPORT NEWS, VA. — A Michigan craft brewery has created a special beer label to commemorate the christening of the USS Gerald R. Ford.
Founders Brewing Co. said the special label for its pale ale pays homage to the nation’s 38th president, who grew up in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Newport News Shipbuilding approached the brewery about creating the label marking the Navy’s newest aircraft carrier’s christening on Saturday.
During the week, the special labeled pale ale will be on draft at locations in the Newport News area, along with commemorative postcards. It also will be served at a private christening dinner.
Brewery co-founder Dave Engbers, who called Ford a hugely important figure in the Grand Rapids community, said the request for the special label was “one of those things that gives you goosebumps.”
“We make beer. We aren’t in the business of running a nation — nothing near it,” Engbers said. “But we’ve done what we can to build our company on values exemplified by Ford, particularly integrity and authenticity.”
The Ford is the lead ship in a new class of carriers, which features a new nuclear power plant, a redesigned island, electromagnetic catapults, improved weapons movement and an enhanced flight deck.
Susan Ford Bales, the sponsor of her father’s namesake ship, is scheduled to smash a bottle of American sparkling wine across the ship’s hull to christen it.
Huntington Ingalls Industries says Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan will serve as the keynote speaker at the christening ceremony.
Construction of the Ford began in November 2009 in Newport News. It will replace the USS Enterprise, which was inactivated last year.