The Yakima Valley is blessed with just the right climate and environment for growing fabulous wine grapes and hops.  We are also blessed with creative and generous people that have found numerous ways to use our world class wine and beer bounty to raise money for charity and important research.

Exhibit A - Mike Smith and Cheryl Hanses Smith, from Yakima. The couple is entering the 9th year of their “Ales for ALS” program.

ALS is a horrible disease -  "Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease or motor neuron disease, is a progressive, degenerative disease that destroys the nerve cells that control voluntary muscle movement....In people with ALS, these cells die off, causing the muscle tissues to waste away."  In short, your body withers away and slowly dies but your brain is awake and alert to the entire terrible process.

The “Ales for ALS” program was started by Cheryl Hanses and her husband Mike Smith, who is a 3rd generation hop farmer. Cheryl’s family has familial ALS, meaning that they carry one of the identified mutant genes that is inherited and passed down from generation to generation. Nine of Cheryl’s family members have died of ALS or are currently battling the disease.

The way it works is this - Ales for ALS” provides brewers from around the world with a unique, proprietary hops blend free of charge in exchange for a portion of beer sales donated to ALS TDI. The ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) is the world’s first and largest nonprofit biotech focused 100 percent on ALS research on finding treatments and cures for ALS.

Enrollment for 2021 “Ales for ALS” is now open and brewers are encouraged to sign up on the Ales for ALSä website (a4a.als.net). Participating brewers are featured on the website and those selling canned beer can link to their ecommerce sites from the website. In addition, this year “Ales for ALS” is partnering with the popular beer app “Untappd” to create an “Ales for ALS” badge. This special “Ales for ALS” badge can be earned by checking in any beer from one of the participating breweries.

To learn how to become a part of the “Ales for ALS” program or to visit a participating brewery, visit a4a.als.net.