A limited release Minnesota beer returning to the shelves this month will help raise money for suicide prevention.
Last year, the folks at Fulton Beer were devastated by the loss of team member Greg Sincheff, who took his own life after a battle with depression.
"Greg’s loss was felt by everyone in our company, from those who had just met him to friends he worked alongside and had known for half of his life," Fulton says.
As the anniversary of Sincheff's death approaches, the brewery is again releasing the beer.
The beer created in honor of Sincheff has been given a new name: Specter.
"The word Specter is defined as 'a visible incorporeal spirit; ghost; phantom; or apparition',” Fulton explains. "The name is intended to continue honoring Greg’s memory. He is no longer here with us in the flesh, but we want his spirit to remain visible."
The artwork on the new can is inspired by Dia de los Muertos (aka The Day of the Dead), a holiday observed each year on November 1 that's meant to honor loved ones who have died.
"Fulton first used the Sugar Skull image in our taproom in September 2016, to commemorate the Death of the Growler. We have brought back the Sugar Skull for Specter, as the day of Greg’s death coincides with this day of remembrance of the dead," Fulton said.
What's inside the can hasn't changed. It's a NE style IPA that the brewery says is a "distinct and deliberate departure from the high-clarification common in most of Fulton’s lineup."
The beer is described as "aggressively" hoppy with aromas of citrus and stone fruits. It has a hazy appearance and smooth, creamy mouthfeel with a tropical and juicy finish.
Besides honoring their loved one, the brewery hopes Specter will bring visibility and awareness to suicide prevention, as well as start a dialogue on mental health issues, "which are all too often invisible," Fulton says.
Specter will be available in four packs of 16 ounce cans and on draft beginning Monday. Fulton says quantities are "ridiculously limited," so don't skip it when you see it, as it's only available once a year.
And as the brewery did last year, $1 from each pint of the beer sold at the taproom will be donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). The taproom release is on Tuesday.
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. each year, according to the AFSP. On average, there are 121 suicides per day.
Men die by suicide three and a half times more often than women, with white males accounting for 7 out of 10 suicides in 2015, the foundation says. Firearms account for almost half of all suicides.
State officials say the number of suicides has been rising – both in Minnesota and nationally – since bottoming out in 2000.
In 2015 there were 726 suicides in Minnesota. That year, the Health Department came out with a suicide prevention plan with the goal of reducing suicides 10 percent by 2020.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
The AFSP raises awareness, funds scientific research, and provides resources and aid to those affected by suicide. Learn more about their mission and history here.