BANGOR — When the Sea Dog Brewing Co.’s doors open on May 1, there will be a new beer on tap brewed specifically to support the Rise Above Fest’s goal of suicide prevention.

“Sea Dog brewery is creating a special release beer called Rise Above Red just for the cause,” Dan Reidenberg, executive director of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, known as SAVE, said Sunday. “It will be available at their restaurants all of … May with a portion of the proceeds to benefit SAVE.”

Sea Dog’s new head brewer, Bob Crockett, took over for exiting brewmaster Brooks Matthews, who is opening his own brewery, on March 3 and is in the middle of creating a recipe for the benefit beer. He has 10 years of experience, including time spent at Geary’s and Shipyard breweries in Portland.

“I was told I have the right to use the Rise Above name, and Rise Above Red just seemed to work,” Crockett said Monday. “I’m working on the recipe right now. I’m about 90 percent done. I want it to be aggressive, hoppy. A rock ‘n’ roll-style beer.”

The Rise Above Fest, a daylong heavy metal music festival on the Bangor Waterfront scheduled for May 9 featuring Godsmack, Seether, Slash and others, benefits the suicide prevention organization.

“Last year, the festival raised almost $50,000,” said Reidenberg, who is also managing director of the National Council for Suicide Prevention. “That went to help SAVE’s education and awareness programs.”

The festival’s name is taken from the song “Rise Above This,” which Seether frontman Shaun Morgan wrote for his brother, who took his own life in 2007. That loss led Morgan to create the Rise Above Fest. The first year, the event was held in Gilford, N.H., and raised nearly $20,000 for the New Hampshire chapter of National Alliance on Mental Illness.

SAVE used a portion of the funds to provide two out-of-state veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder with an all-expense-paid trip to Bangor to see the concert and meet band members last year. This year that number is growing to five, and Maine veterans also will get a chance to go to the concert for free.

“Seether has decided to offer free tickets to active duty and veterans in Maine,” Reidenberg said. “There will be three movie and panel nights held throughout Maine in April where they can get tickets, as well as the day of the event.”

Sgt. 1st Class Nathaniel Grace, Maine Military Community Network community liaison, said Sunday that more than 300 veterans got free or discounted tickets to the Toby Keith concert last year and the group is again partnering with Waterfront Concerts to offer free tickets to veterans for the Rise Above Fest.

Maine Military Community Network is working with the Maine Public Broadcasting Network and the Maine Humanities Council to host three public screenings of the Oscar-nominated documentary feature “Last Days in Vietnam,” which is when the concert tickets will be given away.

The documentary screenings are Thursday, April 9, at the The Grand in Ellsworth; Sunday, April 19, at the Collins Center for the Arts at the University of Maine in Orono; and Tuesday, April 21, at the Temple Theatre in Houlton, and will be held in conjunction with a veterans’ resource fair.

“(The movie screenings) are a great way to get the vets to come out and to learn what resources are available to them,” Grace said.

The documentary will air on MPBN on Thursday, April 28, he said. Veterans who attend the resource fair also will be told about a veteran reintegration presentation featuring Dr. Jonathan Shay, a psychologist who specializes in PTSD, scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 13, at the University of Maine’s Wells Commons.

Showtimes and more details about the screenings will be released on the Maine Military Community Network’s webpage, Mainemcn.org, on Tuesday, Grace said. Those who cannot make it to the screenings can go to the website to learn about how to register for free veteran tickets online.

BDN writer Emily Burnham contributed to this report.


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