North Idaho

Combat vets open Mad Bomber brewery

HAYDEN, Idaho - Mad Bomber vo

The Mad Bomber Brewing Company has opened up in Hayden, Idaho, where the combat veterans running the business are working to brew great beer and give back to the community.

They've only been open for a couple of weeks but already the guys at Mad Bomber Brewing are working overtime just to keep up with demand. It's not just good beer that makes this place unique, there's also a lot of heart behind each pint they pour.

"After being in the army on the bomb squad, I was away from my family all the time," Tom Applegate said.

Applegate served in Afghanistan as a bomb squad technician. When he got back home he found his specialized skill set wasn't easily applied to most civilian jobs.

"Not having a lot of options and the way the economy is we really had to make our own way," he said.

Tom and his brother learned how to brew beer from their parents. They call themselves amateurs but if their first two weeks mean anything their business will probably be just fine.

"Things have been going great. I mean, we are running out of beer. We have the smallest system in the area with the largest taproom and food so it is almost hard for us to keep up," he said.

But they will keep up, not just for the love of beer, but for the men from their unit that didn't come back, like Nick Reed.

"He was stationed with us in 2008 and got to the unit working for me and one of the other partners. We deployed together. He was killed last December by an IED in Afghanistan," Applegate said.

Mad Bomber has two memorial beers on tap and 50-percent of those sales go directly to the Wounded Warrior Project. It's their way of remembering the men that they can't sit down and have a pint with.