Oskar Blues CAN’d Aid Foundation launches recycling program

Craft-CAN beer pioneer Oskar Blues knows a little something about aluminum, so it makes sense that the brewery’s non-profit, The CAN’d Aid Foundation, is launching a national aluminum recycling program.

With generous grants from long-time partners, The Ball and Alcoa Foundations, CAN’d Aid’s first national initiative will kick off this summer and concentrate on CAN recycling education and activation.

CAN’d Aid will offer funky and unique programs, focused on keeping aluminum in the recycling stream. “Grassroots Recycling Grants,” funded by Ball and Alcoa, are now available for communities, organizations and individuals interested in starting sustainable recycling programs. CAN’d Aid will provide seed money and equipment to kick off initiatives to those who apply and outline a plan for awesome results (www.foundation.oskarblues.com/funding-areas/loveyermama).

Novelis, the world’s largest aluminum recycler, and ColoRADo-based ZeroHero will work directly with successful grant applicants to provide education, training, on-site support and reporting. ZeroHero’s unique recycling stations effectively corral all recyclable and compostable materials and have helped countless organizations make the move toward less waste.

The goal of the grants is to empower motivated and passionate individuals to make a difference in their communities through recycling. The educational components of the program focus on the benefits of “infinitely recyclable” aluminum and include online webinar training and event coaching from ZeroHero.

Among the first to be awarded a recycling grant was Eau Claire County Recycling, which oversees recycling and waste removal for the entire county of Eau Claire, Wisconsin (population 100,000). The organization was awarded 10 recycling stations plus cash to implement recycling programs at their annual summer “Taste of the Valley” culinary arts festival and weekly concert series.

“CAN’d Aid provided us with the tools, education and training to implement this program, and we’re able to effect real change and produce measureable results around recycling. We are grateful to the foundation and ZeroHero, and look forward to seeing how many pounds of recyclable materials we collect this summer as a result,” said Amanda Haffele, Director of Eau Claire County Recycling.

Western North Carolina Alliance, an environmental advocacy group based in Asheville, NC, also has been awarded a recycling grant. WNCA will provide on-site recycling support at the Oskar Blues Burning CAN Beer Festival on July 5, and afterwards will place the recycling stations into permanent use throughout Western North Carolina.

Since announcing the program, CAN’d Aid has awarded $12,000 in cash and 18 reusable recycling stations have been granted to four nonprofits across the country. Funds and equipment are still available and the foundation’s goal is to award at least a dozen more applicants this summer and fall and continue the program in 2015.

In addition to recycling grants, consumers will have the opportunity to participate in the #ShowUsYurCans social media campaign by posting photos and stories of how they’re making a difference through recycling all summer long. As part of the Oskar Blues Ordeal, CAN’d Aid has set a goal to recycle one million cans by the end of the year.

For the past two years, Oskar Blues has offered the Oskar Blues Ordeal bus tours for a backstage view into all Oskar Blues ColoRADo locations, including the brewery, farm, restaurants and REEB Cycles during the Great American Beer Festival in the fall. Check out a chance to win a trip to the 2014 Oskar Blues Ordeal (ColoRADo) by signing up & recycling at http://www.obordeal.com/.

Look for details about incentives and prizes associated with #ShowUsYurCans in Draft Magazine and enter to win at obordeal.com.

Want to get involved? Apply for a Grassroots Recycling Grant (www.foundation.oskarblues.com/funding-areas/loveyermama), help make a difference, and #ShowUsYurCans!

New Belgium and 3 Floyds Unearth an Old Polish Craft to Create Grätzer

3 Floyds, a small brewery in Munster, Ind. with a big reputation, and New Belgium Brewing, the third largest craft brewer in the U.S., have partnered to create Grätzer. This bold-flavored ale brings back to life the long-buried Grätzer style from Poland, which primarily uses oak-smoked wheat. This collaboration beer also incorporates Midnight Wheat malt, which provides a mild sweetness. It pours pure black and has a subtle, spicy note from Polish Lublin Hops. At 4.5% ABV and 30 IBUs, Grätzer is sessionable and has a nice, light body, despite its dark appearance.

“The beer turned out really refreshing and the tartness complements the smoke and makes the whole drinking experience harmonious,” said Chris Boggess, Head Brewer at 3 Floyds. “We’re also excited about the label art. We tried our best to push for some gruesome artwork and the label is pretty brutal – gooey brains and zombies!”

“We definitely had a fun time partnering with them to create Grätzer,” said Lauren Salazar, New Belgium’s wood cellar manager and sensory specialist. “3 Floyds is in the heart of the Midwest and although they have limited distribution they are known far and wide for some amazing beers, so it was an honor to partner alongside them.”

Grätzer is available now through September, while supplies last, in 22-ounce bombers and on draft.

To find New Belgium beers near you, visit the libation locator at http://www.newbelgium.com/beer/locator.aspx.

Oskar Blues REEB Ranch Launches World-Class Beer and Bike Destination in Western North Carolina

Oskar Blues 1Oskar Blues Brewery‘s new 145-acre farm will serve Western North Carolina as an epic beer and bike-fueled destination. Located about 8 miles from the Brevard-based Oskar Blues brewery, which opened in December 2012, the former Shoal Falls Farm soon will be a haven for mountain bikers, a place to grow hops, pasture land for spent grain-fed cows, and a music & event space, all against the beautiful backdrop of Dupont State Forest.

The Oskar Blues REEB Ranch will be home to The Bike Farm (http://www.bikefarmpisgah.com), an established bike guide and concierge service, owned by Cashion Smith and Eva Surls. The REEB Ranch/Bike Farm team envisions creating a world-class biking destination for the whole family at the site, which will offer a bike park and direct trail access to Dupont’s miles of single track.

Cycling has always been a huge part of Oskar Blues’ culture and was a huge reason that soul-founder Dale Katechis chose Western North Carolina as the home for a second brewery. “Western North Carolina rings true with the same eclectic mountain energy that inspired Oskar Blues to put Dale’s Pale Ale in a can,” Katechis says.

The name REEB Ranch pays homage to REEB Cycles (http://www.reebcycles.com), Oskar Blues hand-made bike company based in ColoRADo. A stable of demo REEB Mountain Bikes & Dirt Jump rigs are available at the REEB Ranch.

Oskar Blues 2“It’s important to us to keep that trail-side camaraderie in the community,” Katechis says. “We’ve been able to integrate our passions of the brewery, farm, restaurants and REEB Cycles into much of what we do–the Oskar Blues REEB Ranch continues that effort.”

Oskar Blues has kept a grassroots, hands-on feel with ColoRADo projects such as REEB Cycles and the Hops & Heifers Farm, which provides home-grown beef, pork and vegetables to four Oskar Blues restaurants, including a new CHUBurger at Coors Field in Denver. The Oskar Blues REEB Ranch continues that grassroots path in Western North Carolina.

Construction on the REEB Ranch bike park has already begun, and rides from the property will start rolling soon.

The ranch creates a ride-in, ride-out experience with direct Dupont State Park single-track access, pump track sessions, dirt jump progression lines and post ride beers alongside the swimming hole. On-site lodging includes a 1940s cabin at the base of two 43-foot waterfalls and an apartment on the top floor of a venue-perfect barn, while tent camping is also available.

Oskar Blues 3“Whether it’s brewing beer, building bikes, or creating one of the East Coast’s most impressive bike parks, Dale likes to dream big and enable big dreams for his partners,” Smith says.

Oskar Blues 4For the past two years, Oskar Blues has offered the Oskar Blues Ordeal bus tours for a backstage view into all Oskar Blues ColoRADo locations including the brewery, farm, restaurants & bike company during the Great American Beer Festival in the fall. Check out a chance to win a trip to the 2014 Oskar Blues Ordeal (ColoRADo) by signing up & recycling at http://www.obordeal.com/.