Red Brick Brewing Co. and the Atlanta, Georgia Aquarium are teaming up to help save the whale sharks. Putting conservation in a can, the two partnered to bring us Whale Shark Wheat. The exclusive American wheat ale made by the oldest craft brewery in Georgia and the largest aquarium in the Western Hemisphere is meant to raise awareness about the endangered marquee species.
The limited-edition release of Whale Shark Wheat is set for June 2 at Red Brick Brewing Co. There, beer lovers and conservation enthusiasts can be the first to get a taste of the 5.5 percent summer brew on draft. The Georgia Aquarium will receive a portion of all Whale Shark Wheat sales that will go towards their whale shark conservation efforts.
— Georgia Aquarium (@GeorgiaAquarium) May 12, 2017
Beyond being home to the gentle giants, the Georgia Aquarium has done world wide research on the world's largest fish. Their international whale shark research is part of an effort to better understand and save the endangered species. The whale shark species has declined to less than half of what is was over the last 75 years, putting it on the endangered list. Efforts such as this collaboration can help in the struggle against extinction.
The proceeds from Whale Shark Wheat will be used to fund research teams as well as equipment. The Georgia Aquarium has already made some progress as it played a role in mapping the first whale shark DNA genome. The discovery was made using Georgia Aquarium's own whale sharks.
The partnership allows craft beer enthusiasts to feel good as they drink for a cause. As Red Brick Brewing's concern with sustainability grows, the collaboration only seemed natural. When asked about the collaboration, Red Brick president and brewmaster Garett Lockhart reported to Beer Pulse,
"Sustainability is an important thing to us and the craft beer industry in general. It's great to partner with Georgia Aquarium on something that will raise funds for conservation efforts across the world."
— Red Brick Brewing (@RedBrickBrewing) May 11, 2017
Back in 2014, Red Brick made the move from bottles to cans in an effort to become more eco-friendly. Cans are not only better for the beer, but they are easier to recycle than glass bottles. Tyler Cates, Marketing Coordinator for Red Brick Brewing Co., said:
"Our decision to move to cans aligns with our goals to become a leader in the southern craft beer market with higher quality brews and a more creative approach to product. We researched the option of cans and it was clear that the move would benefit both the brewery and our customers."
Beyond making the move to cans, Red Brick also decided to use six-pack rings that are made out of a biodegradable material so they won't harm marine life. All in all, the cans are a strategic move to help the environment.
Excited to finally share this news! We are teaming up with the Georgia Aquarium on our next beer - Whale Shark Wheat! Join us Friday, June 2nd from 5pm-8pm for our release party. Just in time for summer this easy drinking, tropical American Wheat will be pouring for the first time and available for take-home 6 packs. Temp link to a video in my profile. ?? #whalesharkwheat
As concerns for sustainability grows, more breweries are becoming concerned with having an important global impact. Saltwater Brewery out of Florida was one of the first to start using biodegradable, edible six pack rings. Hops and Grain Brewing in Texas repurpose their "water liquor" and donates proceeds to environmental non-profits.
As the list of breweries turning towards sustainable methods increases, hopefully so will the tasty collaborations like Whale Shark Wheat. If you can't swing by Red Brick for a pint of the new beer, then check out participating retailers for Whale Shark Wheat cans. The blue cans featuring a Whale Shark are hard to miss.