Raquette’s new brew is for the birds

From left, Josh Weise, Tanner Hockey and Kevin Connell — brewers at Raquette River Brewing in Tupper Lake — stand in front of a 10-barrel tank of the new Spruce Tip IPA brew they crafted in partnership with Northern New York Audubon to celebrate the spruce grouse. Aaron Cerbone/Adirondack Daily Enterprise

TUPPER LAKE — Beer and environmental awareness don’t always go hand in hand, but they will this month when Raquette River Brewing partners with Northern New York Audubon for the release of a new beer, the Spruce Tip IPA, in honor of the region’s iconic and endangered bird, the spruce grouse.

“The Audubon Society got ahold of me and left the beer style up to us,” said Mark Jessie, co-owner of Raquette River Brewing, “ so I talked to my three brewers, Josh Weise, Tanner Hockey, and Kevin Connell, and we decided a Spruce Tip IPA would be appropriate.”

The event will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11 at the brewery, 11 Balsam St. in Tupper Lake.

Mr. Jessie said a portion of all sales will go to NNY Audubon, which helps promote the protection and proper management of birds, wildlife and the fragile ecosystems throughout Northern New York. People will also be able to make direct donations to the society at the event.

The beer, he said, will be sold on tap or in four-packs to-go. It’s a limited release, meaning that once it’s sold out, it’s gone forever.

He described the Spruce Tip IPA as a West Coast-style IPA, with bitter and piney notes.

“It’s an old-school IPA,” he said.

At the event, Mr. Jessie said Audubon will have a table set up with information on the organization and on the honorary spruce grouse bird, as well as custom merchandise for the partnership.

“And we’re gonna pour the beer,” he said.

A wood-fired pizza food truck called Fusion Street will accompany the event.

It’s so good, Mr. Jessie said, that people sometimes travel all the way from Syracuse just for Fusion Street’s pizza.

“We have been talking about this collaboration for over a year now, and I am thrilled to see this project come to fruition,” Shelly Cihan, vice president of NNY Audubon, said in a press release. “As a bird lover, I’m excited to see a special local species highlighted. As a beer lover, Raquette River is one of my favorite breweries, and I am so happy we got to work together.”

Prizes will also be auctioned off at the event to raise money for Audubon.

For more information about the event, call Raquette River Brewing at 518-359-5219. For information on the NNY Audubon, visit www.nnya.org.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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