FORT MYERS, FL — Twisted Trunk Brewing inPalm Beach Gardens, FL and Cooperstown, NY’s Brewery Ommegang have teamed up with Captains for Clean Water in Fort Myers, FL to tackle a toxic issue blooming in Southern Florida: blue-green algae. The breweries are planning a special release called Southbound, a Belgian-style Pils that will launch in May. Proceeds from sales of the beer and from the launch event later this spring will raise funds for Captains for Clean Water, enabling them to continue their work to protect Florida’s waterways and draw attention to this dangerous issue.
“Captains for Clean Water is an organization that brings people together to work for science-based solutions to one of the greatest threats to the future of Florida,” says Captain Daniel Andrews, the organization’s founder. “As a result of decades of water mismanagement, Florida’s East and West Coasts have been plagued by damaging, unnatural discharges of polluted freshwater from Lake Okeechobee. Meanwhile, Florida Bay is suffering from hyper saline conditions as a result of significantly decreased flows of freshwater into the bay that are required to balance and maintain salinities. The solution to these problems is the restoration of the Everglades, and time is of the essence.”
Although far from Florida, Brewery Ommegang is no stranger to water-related issues. The brewery has long been one of the most outspoken opponents to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in New York State which they believed would seriously threaten the brewery’s water supply, in addition to the local waters. Ommegang’s involvement is thanks toJohn Oteri, Brewery Ommegang’s sales representative in South Florida.
“The moment I decided to step up and do something about this situation was last June, right after my son was born,” Oteri says. “This was the time of one of our worst blue-green algae blooms to date and my family had been informed that there may be some airborne toxins associated with this particular bloom. Not only was the smell awful but we came to the realization that we didn’t live in paradise anymore. I knew once the national news coverage went away so would the awareness. I contacted Twisted Trunk and Captains for Clean Water because both are doing great things in the community and I thought we should work together to help raise money and awareness to fight this problem.”
Twisted Trunk’s Francis Andrewlevich was onboard immediately after being approached by Oteri. “The first time I saw the brown mucked up water I thought I was on another planet, says Andrewlevich. “I knew we had to do something to get it back to the Florida we all know and love.”
Southbound, the collaborative beer, was brewed at Twisted Trunk on Friday, March 24 by their brewing team and Justin Lottridge, a 10-year veteran of Brewery Ommegang. The beer will be available in cans and only during a launch event will be hosted at Twisted Trunk on Saturday, May 20. The brewery will donate proceeds from beer sales and the event to Captains for Clean Water. Additional details about the event are forthcoming.
About Captains for Clean Water
Captains for Clean Water advocates for healthy marine ecosystems in south Florida by improving water quality. Florida has been compromised by development and agriculture. Through Everglades Restoration and local watershed projects, we can preserve our estuaries.
About Twisted Trunk
Opened in 2015 by Fran Andrewlevich and Matt Webster, Twisted Trunk is committed to creating excellent pints served by exceptional people. Located in Palm Beach Gardens their 25bbl brew house churns out their flagship beers Lucky Langer Lager German Pilsner, IPGA Eldorado-hopped IPA as well as a long list of rotating specialties. The taproom features a bar created from 100 year-old elm wood, lounge areas, views into the brewery and a fun, welcoming environment to enjoy their wares.
About Brewery Ommegang
Brewery Ommegang opened in 1997 to brew imaginative craft beers across a variety of styles, with particular emphasis and respect for Belgian brewing traditions. Ommegang brews nine ales year-round, as well as an extensive and innovative range of seasonal and specialty ales. The beers have won a national following by connoisseurs of fine beer and are distributed in 46 states and internationally. Ommegang is located on a 136-acre farmstead in Cooperstown, New York and offers free daily tours and inexpensive tastings as well as a 75-seat café, a well-stocked brewery store, and an annual calendar of public events including a summer concert series and a legendary beer festival, Belgium Comes to Cooperstown. Ommegang is open every day of the year except for Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. For more information, contact www.ommegang.com. Ommegang is a member of the Duvel family of fine beers. Follow Ommegang on Twitter: @BreweryOmmegang, Facebook.com/Ommegang, and Instagram: @BreweryOmmegang