Special Pale Ale Label Created for Christening of Gerald R. Ford Aircraft Carrier

We’ve created a special label for our Pale Ale in honor of the christening of the Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) aircraft carrier, named for the 38th President of the United States who grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Gerald_Ford_label_forfounders

During the week of November 3, this special label Pale Ale will be on draft, along with commemorative postcards, at the following locations in the Newport News area:

It will also be served at a private christening dinner on Friday, November 8.

The christening ceremony will be held on Saturday, November 9, at Newport News Shipbuilding, where the ship is being constructed. President Gerald R. Ford’s daughter, Susan Ford Bales, will serve as the ship’s sponsor, performing the traditional honor of breaking a bottle of American sparkling wine across the ship’s bow during the ceremony.

The dry dock in which CVN 78 was structurally built was flooded, preparing the ship for launch in the days following her christening. The christening ceremony will be held in front of the ship’s bow.

Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) is the first of a new class of aircraft carriers, the first new design since USS Nimitz, which was launched in 1972. Redesigned from keel to mast, the ship will be able to launch aircraft more quickly while costing less to maintain, saving the Navy a projected $4 billion over the ship’s 50-year life span.

“When we got the call from the folks at Newport News Shipbuilding, asking us to make a special label for this event, it was one of those things that gives you goosebumps,” said Founders Co-Founder Dave Engbers. “Gerald R. Ford is a hugely important figure in the Grand Rapids community. We make beer. We aren’t in the business of running a nation—nothing near it. But we’ve done what we can to build our company on values exemplified by Ford, particularly integrity and authenticity. It’s such an honor to be involved in this christening.”

More information can be found online at www.thefordclass.com. The christening ceremony will also be streamed online at that site for those who want to watch from home.

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27 Comments on “Special Pale Ale Label Created for Christening of Gerald R. Ford Aircraft Carrier”
  1. John

    Any plans on turning the Gerald R. Ford special label into a Tee Shirt. As one of the supervisors that help Design the ship I would surely buy one or two!

    • Sarah

      We do not have plans to turn the special label into a t-shirt, but the marketing/PR folks at Newport News Shipbuilding printed some commemorative postcards and may have extras if you’d like to reach out to them. Cheers!

  2. A Vaughan

    Will your pale ale with the Ford label be available for purchase through the website at any point?

    • Sarah

      Hi There: We do not sell our beer online, and this beer was only available in bottles at the christening ceremony this past Saturday and on draft at the locations mentioned in the Newport News area. Our Pale Ale (with the regular label) is still available throughout our distribution footprint. Cheers!

  3. CDR Robert E Johannesen, USN (ret)

    I would be privileged to receive a case of your Gerald R Ford beer. How might I order a case?
    REJ in Amarillo, Texas

    • Sarah

      Hi there, REJ. Thank you for your comment! Unfortunately, the special label version of this beer was only available at the christening ceremony this past Saturday. However, our Pale Ale (with the regular label) is available in Texas–it’s the same beer, just a different label. Hope that helps. Cheers!

  4. William Taylor

    Will bottles of this beer, with this special label, be available elsewhere? I’m near Cleveland, Ohio and would love to get one.

    • Sarah

      Hi William. Thanks for the comment. The special label version of this beer was only available at the christening ceremony this past Saturday. Our Pale Ale (with the regular label) is available in the Cleveland area–it’s the same beer, just a different label. Cheers!

  5. Larry Bunting

    The story about the President Ford special label beer is nice. Will any be available for retail purchase here in Michigan?
    I would love to be able to buy some.
    Thank you.
    Larry Bunting

    • Sarah

      Thanks for the comment and the kind words, Larry! The special label version of this beer was only available at the christening ceremony this past Saturday. Our Pale Ale (with the regular label) is available throughout Michigan–it’s the same beer, just a different label. Cheers!

  6. Dave

    Wow, what a great tribute to our former President and the men and women of Newport News Shipbuilding. Any chance you would bottle this and make it available to the general public?

    • Sarah

      Thanks for the comment, Dave! We were honored to be a part of this project. The special label version of this beer was only available at the christening ceremony this past Saturday and on draft in the Newport News area at the locations above. Our Pale Ale (with the regular label) is available throughout our footprint–it’s the same beer, just a different label. Cheers!

  7. Cool thing. Congratulations!

  8. Howard leroy

    I am stationed onboard the GERALD R. FORD. And I was wondering would u be selling bottles of beer or just on draft. And how could my self and the other members of the crew get labels. We have many under 21 junior sailors onboard who along with my self love a FORD label. Thank u in advance CS1(SW/AW) Leroy

    • Sarah

      Hi Howard–Wow, what an honor to get this comment! Could you please email us at info AT foundersbrewing DOT com? We’ll see if we can get you some extra commemorative labels. You can also reach out to the folks at Newport News Shipbuilding to see if they have any in the meantime. Cheers!

  9. Jerry Warner

    Any way I can get a bottled version? I would love to have a bottle with the label!

    • Sarah

      This beer was only available in bottles at the christening ceremony and on draft in the Newport News area in the locations specified above.

  10. Gary Swarthout

    I lived across the street from the shipyard for 35 years, off Huntington Ave, the historic neighborhood that made this shipyard what it is today. I am very proud to have attended all of the carriers, either at their christening or their launching, ceremony. Almost all of these carriers had the current President of the United States attend, (I got to see Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and both George Bushes, be driven down my street in their motorcades, my home on 54th st has the gate that dignitaries come through). I am writing to find out if this great Ale is available to the public, I sure would love to get a couple of cases to share with my family and friends. Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter and all good things your way. Gary Swarthout

    • Sarah

      Hi Gary–Thanks for the comment and for sharing your story! This beer was only available in bottles at the christening ceremony and on draft at the locations mentioned above. However, our Pale Ale (same beer, different label) is available throughout our distribution footprint for you to share with your family and friends. Cheers!

  11. Nicholas Richards

    Hello,
    My name is HM1 (SW) Nicholas Richards and I am stationed on PCU Gerald R. Ford. CVN – 78, and I am also a home brewer, beer connoisseur of sorts, and a huge Founder’s fan. First off, thank you for doing this. This is one of those once in a lifetime things that few of us are privileged to be a part of. Secondly, I have a question. Did you bottle any of this? I was hoping to keep one bottle as part of commemoration for my time here. I will be at the christening and will hopefully get to partake in the tasting of this brew, and will hopefully get a postcard. But, I was hoping to take a bottle away from it, too. If you could please just let me know if you bottled anything and if so, how much. I can also be reached at Nicholas.Richards@CVN78.navy.mil. Again, thank you.

    • Sarah

      Just sent you an email. Thanks, Nicholas!

  12. John Avery

    Would like to be able to purchase some G R Ford items (poster, glassware, 6 pack). Any plans to some Ford merchandise in your store?

    • Sarah

      We do not plan to sell any Gerald R. Ford merchandise items.

  13. Ginny Handy

    Is it possible to buy the beer at a retail location? If like to have some to keep.

    • Sarah

      This beer was only available in bottles at the christening ceremony and on draft in the Newport News area in the locations specified above.

  14. Toni

    It’s apparent that a lot of people would buy some bottled beer with the Gerald R. Ford label on it. Is it possible that you would reconsider and distribute some? I live in Michigan and my husband and I went to the christening with our son who helped design the carrier and it would be awesome to get some. I did have some on tap while I was there though.

    • Sarah

      Hi Toni! We’re not planning on distributing this product further. We’re glad you were able to enjoy some on tap!

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