Nearly four years ago, a U.S. CH-47D was shot down in Afghanistan’s Tangi Valley en route to aid Army Rangers under fire. All 39 troops on the Boeing
Chinook, call sign Extortion 17, died in the Aug. 6, 2011 attack. The dead included eight Afghans and 31 Americans—five aircrew members, 22 U.S. Navy SEALs and special-warfare personnel, three U.S. Air Force special operations personnel and a military working dog. It was the largest single loss of American lives in Afghanistan combat. (The aircrew members came from the 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment of the Colorado and Nebraska National Guards and the Army Reserve’s 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment.) To honor the Americans, a member of a famed New Orleans bar-owning family (the Monaghans) asked Bayou Teche Brewing to craft a limited-edition drink whose sale would fund charities supporting Special Forces troops and their survivors. The brewery in Arnaudville, La., just northeast of Lafayette, produced 31Stout, a milk stout that goes on sale July 4 in Louisiana. “We were honored to be asked,” said Karlos Knott, an Army Cavalry scout veteran and one of three brothers who—with their wives—run Bayou Teche. He said $45 from each case and keg sold will be donated to the Special Operations Warriors Foundation and the 31Heroes Project. The brewery is seeking permission to sell 31Stout in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas as well.