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Tradition Brewing Company Creates New Beer In Honor Of Visually-Impaired Head Brewer

NEWPORT NEWS-Tradition Brewing Company will release a new beer this month in support of head brewer, Brian Martin, who was recently incapacitated while recovering from emergency eye surgery.

The new beer, called Beer With a Vision, will be released on July 30. Beer With a Vision is a hazy pale ale brewed with Citra and El Dorado hops and Proximity Malted Oats. Ingredients and materials for this special beer release were donated by Tradition’s suppliers. Proceeds from the beer will raise funds and awareness for two charities that assist those living with vision impairments, Team With a Vision and the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI).

Martin suffers from a genetic condition called Stickler Syndrome, which is a connective tissue disorder that affects the sticklers of the eyes. In May, Martin sustained a retina detachment in his right eye and needed surgery to stabilize his vision, which put him out of commission for a month.

“My mother has dealt with the same condition and eye issues throughout her life, losing vision in her right eye completely as a child,” said Martin, who suffered a retina detachment in his left eye in 2013.

While Martin recuperated, Tradition’s new assistant brewer Abbie Brehm and his friend Greg Fleehart, who used to work at Precarious Beer Project in Williamsburg, helped keep Tradition operational, which, like many businesses in the industry, is still recovering from the impacts of the pandemic.

During his time off, Martin connected with Team With A Vision, a team of athletes, some who are visually impaired or blind, that raises funds for MABVI. The MABVI organization supports individuals as they adapt to their new life with vision loss and helps boosts their confidence.

“I’m an avid runner and the tie in was obvious, so once I was signed up to run the Boston Marathon with Team With a Vision, the jump to brewing a beer seemed like a no brainer,” Martin said. “We decided to brew a hazy pale ale, a popular but approachable style that fits a hole in our current lineup and will be well received by our regulars.”

Martin will participate in the Boston Marathon in October and hopes to beat his personal record. In the meantime, he is grateful for those who stepped up to help him out as well as to help his new cause.

“I fell in love with the beer industry, and decided to make it my career path in no small part because of how tight knit and collaborative the industry was,” Martin said. “This experience has only strengthened my appreciation for my colleagues and their willingness to help out.”

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