Beer for a cause: "Always Give" IPA honoring late local woman raises funds for brain cancer research

SCOTT TWP. — Beer lovers who buy a special limited-run IPA sold in memory of a late local woman will be doing their part to fund brain cancer research.

“Always Give,” a creation of Scott Twp.-based Last Minute Brewing’s E.J. Lastauskas, honors the late Alexis “Lexi” Caviston-Ashmar, who died in 2020 of an aggressive form of brain cancer called glioblastoma. The Scranton woman who courageously battled the disease for more than two years was just 23 years old.

Lastauskas has brewed limited-run batches of the 7.2% hazy IPA each year since 2021, with sales at Last Minute and other locations supporting the broader #BrewStacheStrong fundraiser for brain cancer research and awareness.

Last Minute hosted a fundraising event last weekend at its 320 Wemberly Hills Road location in Scott Twp., where “Always Give” remains available in cans and on draft. Voodoo Brewing Co., 820 S. Washington Ave., Scranton, will have “Always Give” on tap Friday and Saturday as the fundraising effort continues.

“We don’t stop fundraising for this,” said Paul Caviston, Caviston-Ashmar’s father. “It just needs research.”

Doctors diagnosed Caviston-Ashmar with glioblastoma in late 2017, prompting a more than two-year battle with the aggressive brain cancer that currently has no cure. She passed away in July 2020, but never let the disease dominate her spirit.

Caviston-Ashmar also seized opportunities to promote brain cancer awareness, including a 2018 appearance on “The View.” It came after her longtime friend, Alexandra Ditchkus, surprised her with tickets to see superstar Taylor Swift and used the hashtag #LexiStrong to spread her friend’s story on Twitter.

The message caught the attention of then View co-host Meghan McCain, daughter of the late Republican Sen. John McCain, who helped arrange a meeting between Swift and Caviston-Ashmar before a Philadelphia concert in July 2018. The senator, who also was battling glioblastoma, died in August of that year.

Caviston-Ashmar, who married her husband, Joshua Ashmar, the month before her death, underwent five brain surgeries during her cancer fight.

“I don’t want to see anybody at all, ever, especially a child, have to go through something like that because of this disease,” Paul Caviston said. “That’s why we (fundraise). We don’t want to see anybody else have to go through it. It’s heartbreaking.”

Custom artwork on Last Minute’s “Always Give” cans include Caviston-Ashmar’s initials and those of others who’ve died of brain cancer, including Lastauskas’ grandmother, Rose Marie Kordish, and Sonny Crotti, a 16-year-old Dunmore High School sophomore and student athlete who passed away in February.

For information on the brain cancer-focused nonprofit StacheStrong, including the #BrewStacheStrong fundraiser, visit