I got a call this week from our friend Jason Chapman from Pinelands Brewing Co. in Little Egg Harbor Twp. asking if we could put something up on our website for a special beer release for Friday 8/9/2019. I quickly agreed and Jason proceeded to give me the back story of the beer. Every spring, Pinelands hosts an adult Easter egg hunt which is always a huge event. Every year they have a special Golden Egg which comes with a special prize. The person who finds it gets to come up with a recipe, and the brewery will brew it.
This year’s winner was Allie Zambito who was a Doctoral student at the University of Delaware Physical Therapy Program. She was working on finishing up her required classes for her Doctorate in May, and would be graduating in December after her internships. She also attended High Point University in North Carolina where she earned a 3.99 GPA. Allie also served as President of the Exercise Science Club, and was also a presenter at 2 American College of Sports Medicine Conferences. Along with many more accolades Allie was about to add “Beer Creator” to her impressive resume.
Sadly, on June 21st she passed away after being struck by a motor vehicle in a construction zone in Wilmington, Delaware. It was one day before she was to turn 24. She will still receive her Doctorate in December from the University of Delaware posthumously. We often ask ourselves why such horrible things happen to people who are so young, and have so much to contribute to society. It’s a question that has been asked since the beginning of time, and will be asked till the end of time.
Allie’s family and friends wanted to continue with brewing the beer that she had planned—a Hibiscus blackberry wheat ale called “Slightly Sunburt.” A perfect style and name for a summer beer. A few weeks ago they came together at the brewery to brew up her idea. From what Jason conveyed to me their brew day was a great therapy session. It gave everyone involved the opportunity to tell stories and share memories about Allie. There is nothing like our brewing community, and this may be its finest example. “It’s a bond now. We are all connected through Allie’s beer and that is pretty special,” Jason explained.
Pinelands will be tapping Slightly Sunburnt on Friday, August 9th at noon with Allie’s family coming in around 4PM. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Allie’s beer will go to benefit the “Allie Zambito Scholarship Fund” that is being set up by her friends and family. Please come out and enjoy the beer, and celebrate Allie.
I know this article is a lot heavier than you are used to from me, but sometimes it’s more than just beer.