Founders Brewing Co. created a special label for its Pale Ale, saluting 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, Mich. During the week of November 3, this special label Pale Ale will be on draft, along with commemorative postcards.
“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.”
The beer will be served at a private christening dinner on Fri., Nov. 8. The christening ceremony will be held on Sat., Nov. 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.
The christening will be streamed online at www.thefordclass.com for those who want to watch from home.