Business Happenings Lifestyle

West Hartford Resident Launches Beer Tour to Support Blood Cancer Research

Luppoleto IPA. Photo courtesy of Greg Hammond

Greg Hammond is raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society with the hope of becoming Connecticut’s 2024 Visionary of the Year.

Greg Hammond (left) and his late father, Ken. Photo courtesy of Greg Hammond

By Ronni Newton

West Hartford resident Greg Hammond decided he wanted to raise money for research into the disease that took the life of his dad in 2015, and in support of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society he’s doing just that – in a way that’s also fun and benefits local businesses.

Hammomd has launched the 2024 CT Beer Tour for a Cancer-Free Future, and through that fundraiser his goal is to also become Greater Connecticut’s 2024 Visionary of the Year for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. He and his family and friends – a team dubbed “The Hammond Hoptimists” – are looking to raise at least $100,000 for blood cancer research through the CT Beer Tour as well as through personal donations and corporate sponsorships.

Ct Beer Tour logo. Courtesy image

“I became involved for one simple reason: I love my dad. Ken Hammond was a loving husband, a successful businessman, a mayor, a town councilman, a church volunteer, a fabulous role model, and an amazing dad,” said Hammond. His life was cut short in 2015 when his courageous battle with multiple myeloma, a terrible blood cancer, ended. My desire to honor my dad led me to accept a nomination to compete for the title of Greater Connecticut’s LLS 2024 Visionary of the Year.”

Hammond is a craft beer enthusiast and an associate member of the Connecticut Brewer’s Guild who with his wife, Karen, enjoys visiting craft breweries locally as well as when they travel.

“It’s one of the things I enjoy – craft beer – and we live in a state where we are blessed with really good breweries,” Hammond said in an interview. And in thinking of how best to meet his fundraising goal and become a “Visionary,” he said he also wanted to do something fun.

Elicit LLS Charity Beverages. Photo courtesy of Greg Hammond

The beer tour started on March 1 at Elicit Brewing Co. in Manchester, and the second stop was the next day at Luppoleto Brewing Co. in Windsor Locks.

“I thought we’d get five or so,” he said of his quest to get breweries to sign on. But the response was overwhelming and there were so many breweries that were willing to participate that instead of just a few weekend dates he had to schedule events during the week in order to complete the fundraiser within the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s required 10-week period. There are 23 breweries, plus the Connecticut Beer Festival in Hartford on April 20, that are part of his tour.

Some are breweries that he hasn’t had a chance to personally visit – yet. They’re spread throughout the state and include small breweries as well as household names like Willimantic Brewing (March 16), Two Roads (March 30), and Back East (April 5). West Hartford’s own WeHa Brewing & Roasting is a stop on Friday, May 3, the final weekend of the tour.

Greg and Ted at Elicit Brewing. Photo courtesy of Greg Hammond

“The first week has been a good kick-off,” Hammomd said. And the experiences and demographics at each were very different.

Elicit serves their own beer, but also beers from other breweries and has a full bar. They were able to add the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to their point-of-sale system, and customers can donate to his campaign by rounding up through March 10. It’s a popular and busy spot that attracts a young crowd.

Luppoleto Brewing. Photo courtesy of Greg Hammond

Luppoleto is a smaller brewery run by a couple, Jen and James. “They have a tremendous library of games,” said Hammond, and long tables that encourage people to interact with each other. “They say you sit down as strangers and get up as friends,” he said.

The game library at Lupppleto. Photo courtesy of Greg Hammond

Both breweries promoted the beer tour, and there was good participation.

Hammond also came up with the idea of creating a cardboard cut-out of Ted Lasso, and it’s already proving a popular way of getting people to share their experiences on social media.

CT Beer Tour participants pose with “Ted Lasso” at Luppoleto. Photo courtesy of Greg Hammond

There’s no charge to participate in the tour, but donations are of course welcome. Each stop also includes a raffle, with the breweries donating prizes. Friends – like Kristina Karlson, the designer of the logo – and businesses like WeHa Print, which created 300 posters promotimg the event – have also been very generous with their support, Hammond said. “People are really pitching in,” he said.

Luppoleto Scotch Ale. Photo courtesy of Greg Hammond

“I think we are going to get there,” Hammond said of his $100,000 goal.

To make a tax-deductible donation to support LLS and the families facing a blood cancer diagnosis go to The Hammond Hoptimists.

A complete schedule of beer tour dates, times, and locations can be found in the PDF below and at 2024 CT Beer Tour for a Cancer-Free Future.

For more information, contact Greg Hammond at 860-209-4737 or [email protected].

Like what you see here? Click here to subscribe to We-Ha’s newsletter so you’ll always be in the know about what’s happening in West Hartford! Click the blue button below to become a supporter of We-Ha.com and our efforts to continue producing quality journalism.

Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the author


We-Ha.com is the place to go for the latest information about West Hartford – a town that "has it all"! We-Ha.com is part of and proud of our community, and we bring a hyperlocal focus to news and features about the people, schools, businesses, real estate, sports, restaurants, charitable events, arts, and more. Contact us at: [email protected] or [email protected].


Leave a Comment

Translate »