UMN and Urban Growler team up to save the rainforest

Photo courtesy Urban Growler Brewing Company

Not every beer has the lofty goal of saving the rainforest, but that’s precisely what the University of Minnesota and St. Paul’s Urban Growler Brewing Company aimed to do with two recent beer releases.

Their collaboration centers around the rámon nut, a seed that grows in tropical forests in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. In an interview with the Minnesota Daily, David Wilsey, director of the Masters in Development Practice (MDP) program at the U’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, explains that since the ramón nut can only be grown in the rainforest, encouraging its widespread sale would help in preserving these rapidly disappearing forests in its native lands.

And after nearly two decades spent researching the ramón nut, Wilsey had a (thirst-driven?) revelation—the protein-rich, Central American nut would be perfect for brewing beer.

Last year, he reached out to Deb Loch and Jill Pavlak, the co-owners of Urban Growler, who immediately took to the idea. This March, two beers from the environmentally-minded collaboration were released in the taproom. The Ramón Nut Brew, a brown ale, almost immediately sold out. The Ramón Nut Stout Collaboration #2, a chocolatey, nutty stout with notes of coffee, is still available on tap.

“The beer is already good, but the story behind it makes people feel even better about ordering it,” Pavlak told the Daily. “To be able to make some sort of impact in another country is really quite amazing.”

Read the Daily’s full story here.