Thursday, January 20, 2011

Kate Day 2011

This year's annual release of Kate the Great by Portsmouth Brewery in New Hampshire will see a partnership between the brewery and the Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire (NH) and the Center for Wildlife (ME). Kate the Great is Portsmouth's famous 9.5% ABV Russian Imperial Stout, hailed by BeerAdvocate as the best beer in the U.S., and the second best beer in the world. This particular beer has been brewed on an annual basis since 2005 and has stirred up quite the following. With only 10 barrels being brewed (roughly 900 22oz. bottles), Portsmouth has been met with long lines and very disappointed customers in the past. This year, however, they're trying something different. Scratch-off tickets will be sold at a whopping $2 per ticket. Only 10,000 tickets will be sold (only 10,000...yeah), but only 900 of these tickets will be "winners." The holder of a winning ticket is qualified to purchase a bottle of the 2011 Kate the Great Russian Imperial Stout, at $15 per bottle, on "Kate Day" (March 7, 2011). The catch, though, is that ALL proceeds from the sale of tickets will go towards both of the aforementioned non-profit organizations ($10,000 each, assuming all tickets will be sold).

Both of these non-profit organizations are certainly commendable. The Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire's mission is: "to conserve the significant land and natural resources of southeastern New Hampshire, including water, working farms and forests, wildlife habitat, natural areas, and community landscapes." They've been around for the past 30 years and have succeeded in conserving over 6,000 acres of land. This is done through various deed restrictions and conservation easements, among other things, in an effort to ensure fresh, local farmstand fruits and vegetables, protect water quality, and allow for the continued thriving of wildlife and local woodlands. Good stuff, naturally. The Center for Wildlife is equally worthy of praise, with various educational programs being offered regarding wildlife ecology, human impacts on wildlife and critical ecosystems, and stewardship. Having been around since the mid-80s, the Center is dedicated to the rehabilitation of wild animals. The Center reports that over 1,600 animals are brought to them each year, ranging from suffering illness, injury, and/or infection. The goal? To get these little darlings back into the wild by providing them with complete diagnostic treatment and recovery activities.

Moreover, Portsmouth itself has also tapped into the sustainable efforts of its partners and other breweries throughout the country. Specifically, the brewery makes a conscious effort to eliminate its use of plastics by switching to compostable takeout containers (potato-based biodegradable boxes), straws, and utensils. The brewery also utilizes local food ingredients in its restaurant, produced by local farmers, which of course contributes to the growth of the local economy. More recently, however, they have teamed up with EcoMovement Consulting and Hauling in an effort to sort out recyclable and compostable waste from overall waste produced. The compostable waste is then utilized as fertilizer by the same local farmers from whom they are getting their ingredients, and their spent grains are used as animal feed, which many breweries are beginning to do as well. A little bit certainly does go a long way!

March is just around the corner, so for those of you in the vicinity of New Hampshire, get on over to the brewery and pick up your tickets (only 10 per person per day) and support a handful of wonderful organizations in the process! And for the record, I would love to find a bottle of Kate on my doorstep this March ;-)

Peace and Love!

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