Saturday, April 18, 2009

Brewing Up Some Fun!

This Earth Day Arbor Brewing is offerng a little special something - a brand new Spruce Ale - to celebrate! According to brewer Logan Shaedig, the ale (coming along nicely but still in process) is "Like a breath of fresh woodland bounty with an underlying spiced fruit character (from the rye) and a well-rounded hopped character."

Made with 20 pounds (seriously!) of real spruce tips, centennial and hallatau hops, rye malt, and then infused with spruce tea, this ale is Shaedig's creation. "We've never made a beer with spruce before, or with trees or bark for that matter. We felt like it was the perfect beer to tie together Earth Day and Arbor Day. We are splitting the batch in half to serve on each day," according to Elizabeth Cain-Toth, Event Manager for Arbor Brewing. (Check out the photo at left, courtesy of Arbor Brewing, to see the spruce tips getting stirred in!)

On Earth Day - Wednesday, April 22nd - $1.00 from each pint of the celebratory Spruce Ale will go to Project Grow. This is the first year Arbor Brewing plans to host an in-house event. According to Cain-Toth, it felt like the right time.

"We strive to use natural (often organic) ingredients, which are locally or sustainably sourced whenever possible. Partnering with Project Grow and helping to educate our customers on their available resources seemed a natural fit."

The move to a more local foods based menu means partnering with local growers and producers whenever possible, and also jump-started the switch to ecologically sound containers. To-go containers made from sugarcane replaced their styrofoam predecessors about a year ago, and souffle cups are now made from cornstarch rather than plastic. Reusable shopping bags may also be on the horizon to phase out the paper bags currently in use.

"This was purely a necessary switch. It is more expensive, and it took some time for us to find a viable supplier, but it was a change we feel is important to the environment, our staff and customers," said Cain-Toth.

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