Lowcountry brewery releases beer to honor Marine killed in jet crash

Published: Nov. 8, 2023 at 6:03 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 10, 2023 at 3:18 PM EST
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PORT ROYAL, S.C (WTOC) - A Port Royal Brewery is honoring a local Marine who was recently killed in a jet crash by releasing a special beer.

Andrew Mettler took up home brewing when he was stationed in Japan, due to American-style beers being hard to find.

“There were a bunch of fellow Marines who were into home brewing, so they took him under his wing and kind of showed him the ropes. The next thing I know, my dishwasher is being used as a homebrew station,” his wife, Nancy Mettler said.

After moving to the Lowcountry, Mettler’s love for craft beer drove him to be a regular at Shellring Aleworks, a popular Marine spot near Parris Island. He would go with his wife Nancy or debrief at the brewery after a flight with his squadron.

When his squadron approached Shellring to ask for a gathering space after Mettler’s death, the brewery went one step further, inviting Mettler’s wife and friends to brew a pale ale in his honor.

“He was a good friend, so to raise a glass to remember him. It’s going to be hard, but I’m glad we’ll be able to do it here,” friend and squadron mate, Maj. Daniel Langford said.

The brew, named Simple Jack, after Mettler’s callsign, is a simple pale ale. Although his callsign was simple, friends and family say he was anything but. Calling him a skilled pilot, a mentor and the type of friend who would remember the little things about you.

A dollar of each pint sold will go to benefit the Wingman Foundation, a non-profit that supports families like Andrew Mettler’s.

“I have military in my family, both my brothers, my grandfather. So just being able to do something and put your hands on something tangible for somebody means a lot,” Shellring Aleworks head brewer, Matt Stone said. Mettler’s wife Nancy, happy to have the perfect way to honor her husband.

“I’m glad that people can come and remember him in this way. It is the perfect way to remember him and if he has a glass and then whatever is beyond this, I’m sure he will be toasting with the rest of us and will love that we are remembering him in that way. But for me, it is a bit bittersweet. But I’d prefer he’d be here having one with us and that’s going to take me a while to get used to that idea,” she said.