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Larry's Hard Lemonade...

This is Where it All Began

For years before Larry was known for his beer, he was a sought-after Jeweler and that’s what paid the bills. Well, 2015 and 2016 were some pretty tough years for Larry. The economy was terrible, and jewelry was just about the last thing people were spending money on. But during this hard time, Larry and his friend Vic’s friendship grew into a brotherhood as Vic had been having a pretty rough time himself. Larry and Vic would spend time reminding each other that somehow, things would get better and to stay in faith. Vic would keep repeating the words of the promise that his father demanded he make to him just days prior to dying suddenly from undiagnosed cancer. That promise was “I Will Stay In The Fight. We Don’t Quit”.

Larry found jewelry work where he could, and Vic was lucky enough to be working with father and son Bill and Pete Ballou. It was during that time that Larry was introduced to Bill who is now the “Head Lemon”. You see, if you have ever been around Larry for even two seconds you will hear about his beer and see the pure love, he has for it. Bill who all the other Lemons lovingly call Senior is a brilliant and successful “Old School” businessman with a huge heart and the ability to spot a lemon in the rough. Senior tried Larry’s Lemonade and loved it. Larry’s Lemonade was already a huge local favorite for years and Senior told Vic to look into what they could do to help. Vic quickly found that the Craft Beer Market is tough. There are so many great Craft Beer’s and Breweries out there that at times it was intimidating. But Vic and Larry would keep telling each other, there is only one Larry’s Lemonade. So, that’s exactly what Vic reported back to Senior. Senior agreed to invest in marketing The Original Larry’s Hard Lemonade now The Original Larry’s Hard Lemonade Brewing Company, which is a mouthful, so we just call it Larry’s. He saw that with the appropriate marketing, Larry’s Lemonade could do really well. But our overwhelming joy at the adventure we were about to embark on was short lived and brought to a screeching halt just a few months into the new beginning.

Larry had been keeping a big secret. In March of 2016 Larry noticed a small knot on the right side of his neck but didn’t give it much attention. Over the next few months the small knot turned into a large painful mass making it virtually impossible for him to sleep. Larry was reluctant to go see a doctor because times were tight and Larry, like so many other Americans, didn’t have medical insurance. When Vic started noticing how much pain Larry was in, he asked Larry what was wrong, and Larry showed him his neck. Vic immediately went to Senior who said, “I’ll pay for the appointment, and get him an appointment scheduled NOW”. Vic finally convinced Larry to go and it was then that our greatest fear was confirmed. In mid-July 2016, our beloved founder was officially diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer that had metastasized in his neck and was growing at a rapid pace. The initial prognosis was six months to a year as they believed it was Stage Four. Obviously, that was one of the toughest days of Larry’s life and devastating to our inner circle. Later that day, Vic and Larry were processing the news and circling the wagons because this was NOT going to be the end of their new beginning. They had fought to hard and come so far to even consider anything other than a full recovery as an option. Vic asked Larry what he could do to help and that’s when Larry told him “I love my Beer, it’s everything to me, I just want to see it go into cans or bottles so everyone can enjoy it the way I see it in my heart before I die”. Without a moment of thought Vic promised Larry that he would make it happen and then demanded a promise from Larry. Vic made Larry promise him that which his father had made him do as he was losing his own battle to Cancer and Vic who at that time was lost in darkness. Vic made Larry promise that he would fight and concentrate on nothing other than getting better and that he would NOT QUIT! Vic and Larry spent a few hours after the appointment catching their breath, hugged one another (In a totally manly way with no tears shed according to them) and it was right then that they decided that they would not allow another second of negativity to steal their energy or their precious time. They decided this would NOT be the end of the new beginning that had been blessed upon them. You see, all of us here at Larry’s are what you could call, “Comeback Kids”. Our motto has been from the beginning, “When Life Handed Us Lemons, We Turned Them Into Beer”. Well life had just handed us a whole bunch of lemons but throwing in the towel is just not what we do. So, there we were, buried in lemons so to speak. It was there we vowed, WE WILL STAY IN THE FIGHT! WE WILL OVERCOME THIS AS A FAMILY! WE DON’T QUIT!

That evening Vic told Senior the terrible news and then told him, “Sir, I have made a promise and I need you to back me. I made a promise to Larry without asking you for your permission and without thinking about what it is going to take to complete it financially”. Senior did not hesitate when he told Vic, “Go get it done”. Vic had already began working with the incredible staff at the St. George Brewing Company who were doing the contract brewing for Larry’s. Vic had originally come up with a twenty-four-month plan to get the beer into cans. Well, twenty-four-months was now to be done in twelve and there would be no alternative, this had to be accomplished. When Vic told the STG family why this had to be done, they were also told by Vic that the twenty-four-month project timeline was not an option. As Vic and Senior worked with St. George to fulfill their promise to Larry, Larry worked with his incredible Riverside Medical Team to keep his. Larry took on cancer with his unrelenting “Thumbs Up” attitude and determination. Larry’s strength and courage inspired all those around him, especially Vic who was hell bent on fulfilling his end of the deal.

In January of 2017, doctors gave Larry the thumbs up we were praying for. He was kicking the cancers butt. Just two days later Vic kept his promise to Larry. Bottles are next week, and Senior is buying a canning machine so that the rest of the world can love our beer as much as we do. Let’s just say that 2017 was the year we proved, WE DON’T QUIT, WE STAY IN THE FIGHT!

Because of the support and belief that Senior had in Vic, Larry and this great beer, by July of 2017 The Original Larry’s Hard Lemonade Brewing Company purchased and installed their canning line and completed the final portion of the promise made. Can one rolled off the line within days of Vic’s twelve month goal. Vic wanted to give Senior the first can but couldn’t, there are many witnesses this time verifying that Vic and Larry cried as they drank it and according to them, that was the best beer they had ever had. According to everyone else, cans two through the thousands now being produced are just as good. But don’t tell Vic and Larry, can one is what they are sticking with.

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