25th August, 2017 by Rupert Millar
A Texas brewery and the Travis Audobon society have teamed up to create a beer to raise awareness of an endangered songbird species whose habitat is under threat.
The golden-cheeked warbler is native to central Texas but its trees it uses for nesting in and making its nests out of, oak and juniper, have been cut down in huge numbers for timber and to clear ground for housing, roads, farms for livestock and, flooded for lakes and reservoirs.
To raise awareness of the bird’s plight, The Travis Audubon Society has partnered with Blue Owl Brewery, a sour beer specialist, in Austin to create a brew dedicated to the warbler.
Head brewer Davy Pasternak decided to incorporate elements of the bird’s habitat and behaviour into the beer.
As such it was fermented in oak and Black Spanish grapes, a hybrid American variety grown in the Texas Hill Country right in the heart of the bird’s range, were added to give a light rosé tint to the beer and some tannic grip.
Pasternak told a local news station: “The character from the grapes that you get, it’s got a slight amount of tannins, but nothing that’s too harsh, so similar to a rosé, it’s very refreshing, so it has this sort of earthiness from the oak, and grape vinous quality from the grapes.”
Jordan Price, membership director of the Audubon added: “We really wanted to draw attention to a serious problem.