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Mesa veteran's cidery raising money for brain injury research

Posted at 7:14 AM, Mar 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-25 10:14:29-04

MESA, AZ — A retired veteran in Mesa has been raising money at his cidery for a cause he knows well.

Jason Duren (Sgt. USMC, Ret.) owns Cider Corps in downtown. He’s created a special cider to raise money for traumatic brain injury (TBI) awareness during March, which is also brain injury awareness month.

Duren partnered with the 22 Jumps Project, an organization that raises money for veterans’ mental health by doing 22 base jumps a day.

The number 22 is significant; that’s the estimate of how many veterans die by suicide in the U.S. every day.

Duren created a special red plum and honey cider called 22 Jumps that raises $1 per glass sold for a leading brain injury research center.

This is a cause that’s close to Duren’s heart.

He suffered two traumatic brain injuries while serving in Afghanistan in 2012.

Duren said he started making cider as a therapeutic hobby with his brother after he medically retired from the military.

That hobby turned into a business, and they opened up Cider Corps in 2017.

It’s now the largest craft cidery in Arizona.

“I kind of went through that personal journey and opening up a place to bring others around me to support and kind of love on me, but also give others a voice to love on others in that community,” Duren said.

The 22 Jumps cider is only available by the glass at the Cider Corps taproom in Mesa, but it is available for the foreseeable future.

The cidery is also working to expand and open a taproom in Gilbert where their cider is created.