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New beer honors Gable, benefits wrestling museum

What happens when you take a guy who's equally passionate about beermaking -- and wrestling?

You end up with a beer named in honor of the legendary wrestler/coach Dan Gable ... and you designate that part of the profits go to support the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum.

Dave Morgan, owner of SingleSpeed Brewery in downtown Waterloo, Iowa -- within sight of the Gable Museum -- describes himself as a Gable fanatic who won the Class 2A 135-pound title at the 1993 Iowa state wrestling championships for New Hampton.

The actual name of SingleSpeed's beer is Munich Helles Lager -- also known as Gable's Gold -- which is named to honor Waterloo native Dan the Man winning a gold medal in freestyle wrestling at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany.

So, how did Morgan come up with Gable's Gold?

Each year, the eastern Iowa brewmaster attends the Craft Brewers Conference for inspiration and ideas.

As Morgan told Jim Nelson, sports columnist for the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, "Usually during these conferences, I have at least one good idea," Morgan told Jim Nelson, sportswriter for the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. "It happens because you get out of the day-to-day routine and start thinking outside of the box a little bit."

On the flight back to Iowa after the 2016 conference in Philadelphia, Morgan let his mind wander ... and the thought occurred to him: Why doesn't SingleSpeed make a beer honoring Waterloo's Dan Gable?

Dave Morgan ran the idea by Dan Gable, who had just one stipulation: "It had to be good, and it had to be gold."

Last year, SingleSpeed introduced Munich Helles Lager -- aka Gable's Gold, or just "Gable" -- as a seasonal beer, and it became the tap room's biggest seller. It is now offered year 'round as one of SingleSpeed's five core beers (after all, wrestling season is pretty much year 'round) ... with $1 of each sale benefiting SingleSpeed's neighbor, the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum.

Then, just last week, cans of "Gable" started appearing on the shelves at Hy-Vee grocery stores across the state of Iowa in the form of six-packs, with a percentage of those sales also going to the Wrestling Museum.

Fittingly, the cans are black and gold ... and carry this message: "Gable. One word can say so much. In our city, few words, if any, resonate with the force Gable does. In commemoration of his Olympic triumph (Munich in 1972) we've crafted a beer much more approachable than any adversaries found Dan to be on the mat. Clean, crisp and Gold. We can't think of a more fitting tribute."

Dave Morgan weighed in on the significance of that message on each can of "Gable" beer.

"One of the cool things about (the can) is on the back there is a story about Gable in Munich," Dave told WEEK-TV, the NBC affiliate in Peoria, Ill. "There's no a lot of room on the can to tell a story we try to do it as quickly as we can to get the point across. It's nice anyone running into this can of beer -- if they happen to live in a world where they did not know about Gable in Munich they might know about it after a can of beer."

To learn more about the beer and its brewery, visit the visit the official website for SingleSpeed.

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