Being a bro is a mindset and a lifestyle. A critical component involves the beer run. Sure, if you’re a teetotaler, I suppose coffee or tea or whatever your beverage of choice is, but if you aren’t down to grab a round with the boys, reconsider your social status. What’s the greatest beer run you’ve ever been a part of? Maybe you have a slightly inappropriate story from college, or maybe you had a DD take you to the corner store only to come back with too many beers and a few local mixtapes. Whatever it is, it’s got nothing on John “Chickie” Donohue, who made the greatest beer run ever, taking camaraderie and drinking to the next level.
Is ‘The Greatest Beer Run Ever’ a True Story?
Yes, The Greatest Beer Run Ever: A Memoir of Friendship, Loyalty, and War is a true story based on an epic beer run by Chick Donohue.
In November 1967, Marine Veteran Chickie Donohue found himself at Doc Fiddler’s, a bar in Inwood, New York.
There had been considerable protesting of the Vietnam War at this point when a bartender named George Lynch, along with Donohue’s friends, hatched an idea:
What if one of them snuck into Vietnam to bring brews to their bros?
Bars are notorious places for terrible ideas to come to life. Regardless, they turn into adventures you remember forever. This was such a time.
After landing a job as a merchant seaman on a ship headed from New York to Qui Nhon, Vietnam, Chick found himself arriving in the war-torn country on January 19, 1968.
His first beer went to his childhood friend, appropriately named Tom Collins, who was serving in the 127th Military Police Company.
From here, Donohue would travel to the Shau Valley to make his second and third deliveries to two Inwood locals named Kevin McLoone and Rick Duggan.
But a Marine is always a Marine. Chickie took up fighting for a short time during the Battle of Khe Sanh.
His final beer would be handed off to Bobby Pappas, a Soldier serving in Saigon. While his return was delayed due to missing his ship, logistics, and the Tet Offensive, he would finally return home on April 1, 1968.
The John “Chickie” Donohue documentary on Netflix is a great way to learn more about this amazing bit of military and drinking history. Or save some time and watch the video below courtesy of PBR.
John “Chickie” Donohue Is the Best Bro Ever
How far would you go for a beer run? Submitting himself to war halfway across the world, it’s safe to say that Chickie Donohue is a bro like no other.
Surviving in Vietnam was no easy task, even for a U.S. Marine Veteran. For Donohue to go through the lengths he did was a testament to his courage, abilities, and patriotism.
The Vietnam War invokes many emotions even to this day. There have been many ways to protest military action, but none have been nearly as epic as spreading cheer through beers.
Beyond writing about his experiences in The Greatest Beer Run Ever book he authored, John Donohue would end up purchasing and operating Doc Fiddler’s and fighting for the people as a trade unionist.
Where Can I Watch ‘The Greatest Beer Run Ever?’
If you’re looking to see the epic story come to life, you can catch The Greatest Beer Run Ever head to theaters or watch it via Apple TV+ on September 30, 2022, for the best beer run of all time.
The cast of The Greatest Beer Run Ever is filled with stars, including Zac Efron, Russell Crowe, and Bill Murray. Directed by the legendary Peter Farrelly, it’s no wonder the film holds an 8.4 out of 10 on IMDb.
The Greatest Beer Run Ever is much more than just the “beer run film” or a cool drinking story. If your circle isn’t looking like Chickie, then you may need better friends. John Donohue showed thoughtfulness, grit, and patriotism in the midst of some of the most harmful environments imaginable.