Laughlin Family Foundation Unleashes Whiskey and Vodka To Help Fight Rare Cancers

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Posted May 16, 2021

Craig, Linda and daughter Courtney Laughlin at the One Eight Distillery in D.C. (Caps Outsider)

Whenever longtime NBC Sports Washington color commentator Craig “Locker” Laughlin sees the number 18, it brings back fond memories of his playing days at the Capital Centre in Landover, where he played alongside other Caps greats such as Rod Langway, Mike Gartner and Doug Jarvis while he wore that number on his jersey. So when he sought a partner to make the latest in a line of Locker 18-branded alcoholic beverages to raise money to help fight rare cancers, teaming up with One Eight Distillery in D.C. was a no-brainer.

“He named his distillery after me, obviously,” Laughlin joked about Alex Laufer, head distiller and one of the co-founders of One Eight Distillery.

On Sunday, the Laughlin Family Foundation – which began in 2018 after Laughlin’s wife, Linda, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer – hosted its latest fundraiser at the Northeast Washington bar. There, they sold a two-pack of whiskey and vodka (with a puck!), in a decorative box, with the proceeds benefiting the foundation. Caps Outsider learned that a fan who said he was several years sober bought bottles for decorative purposes, and to help the foundation.

“What sets this vodka apart is the 100 proof,” Laufer said. “It’s going to hold up in a cocktail a little longer.”

(Reserve your bottle here – only 120 were made!).

The whiskey and vodka combo pack was a change of pace from the foundation’s other beverages. Previously, they released hazy IPAs called Laughlin 18 with Aslin Beer Company, and Wicked Wrister IPA with Astro Lab Brewing, while the third, appropriately called The Hatty, with Pherm Brewing Company, is coming soon (read The Washington Post’s article about this).

What’s next? Expect more beverages. Laughlin is brimming with ideas, including a Canadian shandy with ginger (I may be off on these details as he told me this over cocktails). And with all the success the beverages have had for the foundation, might we see… Locker 18-branded drinks for sale all the time? Don’t bet against it.

But for now, the beverage sales continue to bring in money for the foundation, which has raised over $150,000 so far, despite Covid 19 forcing events to be cancelled.

“Well, I love beer, I love vodka, I love whiskey,” Laughlin said. “Let’s do something for the foundation to keep this thing relevant because we don’t want it to fall to the wayside. Let’s keep trying to build it because the cost of doing this research for rare cancers in immense.”