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Killeen nonprofit buys local brewery for $1, vows to donate portion of proceeds

Posted at 6:13 PM, Nov 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-01 19:13:39-04

KILLEEN, Texas — Operation Phantom Support, a nonprofit dedicated to helping veterans, active-duty military, and first responders, is now adding a brewery to their list of veteran owned businesses.

The organization purchased Killeen’s Iron Gauntlet Brauhaus.

The move keeps true to their mission, helping a fellow veteran.

”What happened is a fellow veteran friend of mine, who I helped start her business a few years back, ran into some conditions with the VA,” said John Valentine, Founder of Operation Phantom Support. “They were going to make her unemployable basically. 100 percent disabled and unemployable. She called me and said ‘Hey, I need talk to you. I don’t want to shut the business down.”

OPS bought Iron Gauntlet Brauhaus for only $1 but, that doesn’t mean the previous owner isn’t going to get her money’s worth from the deal.

”She owed almost $70,000 in bills for things like the brewing equipment,” said Valentine. “So, once I pay everything off, I’m going to be putting money into a trust fund for her children for the next 15 to 20 years to compensate for the money she would have gotten for the business.”

Iron Gauntlet is now owned by the founder of OPS who says he is donating 50 percent of his earnings to OPS programs but he’s not stopping there.

Operation Phantom Support is also going to have their own beer on tap called Phantom Ale and the profits from the sale of that beer is going directly to OPS programs that continue to help military families.

They also now own Black Hawk Brewing Supply.

The store is one of a kind in the area and it’s located inside of Iron Gauntlet.

”We supply everything you need for home brewing,” said Sharon Martin, Manager of Black Hawk Brewing Supply. “So, your grain, your specialty malts, your yeast, your hops, bottles and just kind of everything in between.”

For Iron Gauntlet fans, OPS said they plan to make as few changes as possible and they vow to keep the military theme to make sure every service member feels welcome.