Brain Cancer Fundraiser

This spring the Mancos Brewery is helping raise money for Stache Strong, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that focuses on raising funds for brain cancer research.  Each spring they launch #BrewStacheStrong, a collaboration between StacheStrong and hundreds of breweries and communities across the country to raise funds and much needed awareness for brain cancer research. Participating breweries raise money through sales of their specialty brewed, limited-edition beer. They have partnered with over 300 breweries and have raised more than $2.5 million since the inception of Stache Strong in 2017.

Our fundraiser beer is the Fly Free Black Rye Lager.  For every pint of the Fly Free Black Rye Lager you purchase, we donate $1 to Stache Strong.  Defeating brain cancer and improving the quality of life for people struggling with this disease is something we care about and Stache Strong does too.

Why have we chosen the Fly Free Black Rye Lager to be the fundraising beer for this cancer organization?  It comes down to our personal experience with Glioblastoma (GBM), the most common, and deadliest, primary malignant brain tumor in adults.  Mike Ecclestone, Kathy Hands’ sweetheart, was diagnosed with this cancer in the autumn of 2020.   He had been experiencing seizures and scanning showed a tumor in his brain.  Before he could undergo consultation with doctors in Denver, his seizures intensified, and he was flown to the University of Colorado Hospital in Denver, where he underwent brain surgery to remove as much of the tumor as was possible.

Mike was always up for a post ride beer!

Mikes’ surgery impacted his ability to walk and after a short recovery period he was admitted into an intensive rehab program to regain movement and function.  After coming back home to Mancos, we began treatments in Durango.  For 5 months he underwent radiation & chemo treatments, as well as at home physical therapy to regain the use of the left side of his body. 

Living life so heavily medicated certainly meant that our days of enjoying beer were limited.  However we still indulged in the occasional beer.  And Mike loved our dark beers.  He was known as a Pagan for his affinity for our House Porter.  During his illness one of the beers he complimented DeWayne (Our Brewer) upon over & over was the Black Rye Lager that DeWayne had brewed that winter.

After Mike passed in June of 2021, we decided to make the Black Rye Lager one of our house beers – a simple and very effective way to keep him in the thoughts of so many of our patrons, whom Mike had befriended in his time at Mancos Brewery.  The Fly Free was born.  

For the beer aficionado, the Fly Free Black Rye Lager is based on German Malts, and American Rye and Crystal Rye.  Its hop bitterness is very low which accentuates the Rye in this malt forward beer.  A crisp clean finish highlights dark fruit and earthy flavors.  Mike would say it hits the spot!

So please indulge us, and indulge yourself – try this amazing beer!  Cheers and thank you! 

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