“Opera House has been a flat-out phenomenal supporter of Stamp Out Cancer,” said organizer Zach Wygal. “The events they have hosted have been through the roof.”
And this weekend, Opera House Brewing Company will release a special Stamp Out Cancer beer, named in memory of Wygal’s Dad, Ron “Stamps” Wygal, who passed away from brain cancer.
Stamps Wygale, a traditional light American beer, will officially be released this Saturday, May 2, from noon to 4 p.m., curbside at Opera House Brewing Company in downtown Hillsboro. Owner Anthony Marcolini said many of their specialty beers sell out quickly, and those who want to try them should plan to be there early. He added it will be sold by the can, and will also be on tap for customers to fill growlers and howlers.
And while it’s being introduced to the public for the first time, the idea started two years ago during the 2018 Stamp Out Cancer season.
“Stamp Out Cancer tickets are always a hot commodity,” said Wygal. “So Tony offered a contest to name a beer and win two tickets to the event.”
John Knowles of Mt. Olive, best known for his “What’s That Like” podcast, was the lucky winner, naming the beer Stamps Wygale.
Marcolini said they were unable to brew the beer for the 2019 Stamp Out Cancer event because they didn’t start brewing in Hillsboro until March 22, 2019, which was after the January event.
“We have always been huge fans of Stamp Out Cancer,” said Marcolini. “Cancer touches everyone in our community, and we do whatever we can to help.”
This year’s Stamp Out Cancer event was originally set for March 28, and the Stamp Out Cancer Committee met at the Opera House in mid-March to help launch the brewing of Stamps Wygale. Marcolini said it takes five to six weeks to brew, and it was done by Marcolini and his wife, Jennifer.
“Tony came to me and asked what kind of beer I wanted him to make,” Wygal said. “And honestly, I’d never been much of a craft beer person until they brought it to town. We talked about what my dad would have liked, and craft beer just wasn’t around then. He was a plain beer person, so that’s what this is. It’s the perfect light beer, and it has exceeded all my expectations. He created a super beer.”
And while the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has changed the plans for this year’s Stamp Out Cancer event, it hasn’t dampened the spirits of the organizers. Wygal said they are planning this year’s fundraiser for Aug. 22, at The Event Center of Montgomery County in Taylor Springs, pending that ongoing shelter-in guidelines and social distancing measures have been lifted.
“I think we’ll just have to cross that bridge when we get there,” Wygal said. “But it’s good to have hope. I have an awesome team and awesome participants this year. And regardless, the MCCA still needs the money. Cancer isn’t going away because of the virus.”
To date, Stamp Out Cancer has raised more than $500,000 for the Montgomery County Cancer Association.
Wygal said that he and his crew will be distributing pre-ordered T-shirts for this year’s event on Saturday outside the Opera House.
In addition, Greg Holcomb of Country Financial in Hillsboro has purchased $10 gift certificates to the Opera House for the first 25 customers on Saturday. The gift certificates may be used when the brewery reopens after the shelter-in guidelines are lifted.
Marcolini said they will be using social distancing measures throughout the time they are open.
“Come out and see us,” Wygal said. “We’ve really been looking forward to it.”