Brew for a Cause
As a brewery essentially located in the middle of the Atlantic, the ocean is of vital importance to us. Not only does it produce over half of the world’s oxygen, but it provides many of the opportunities for tourism in our area and adds $282B to the US economy.
And the scallops. Don’t forget about the scallops.
So, when Iron Hill’s Voorhees location approached us to do a collaboration brew benefiting Surfrider Foundation South Jersey — a non-profit, activist organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s ocean, waves, and beaches — it was a no-brainer.
“We’re inextricably tied to the ocean in Cape May,” says Ryan, “and it’s up to the businesses and residents who are here year ‘round to protect it. It’s — by far — the most precious and threatened natural resource we have in our area, so, when Iron Hill came up with the idea of a collaboration to support Surfrider South Jersey, we were happy to come aboard.”
That’s why we’re getting together to brew Twin Fin, a kettle-soured, session, New England-Style IPA, overflowing with juicy hop aroma and an enticing tartness and oozing with flavors of pineapple, tart lemon, and tropical fruits.
“My family is from the Jersey Shore,” says Iron Hill Head Brewer William Mink, “and I’ve spent a lot of my life there. I’ve been surfing since I was a little kid, and it’s very important to me to protect our waterways, shores, and coastlines for future generations to enjoy as I have.”
Iron Hill Lead Brewer Rob Fox continually grows discouraged by the lack of respect many people tend to show our shores.
“I grow more frustrated every year by people who tear up the boardwalk and beaches — Seaside and Wildwood come to mind — and show zero respect for our shore environments and communities,” he says. “I know this also hits very near and dear for Will, especially with him being a huge surfer. So, as his colleague, I thought this was a great opportunity to support him and the Surfrider South Jersey team and help raise awareness in an area that may be oblivious to the issue.”
While the organization may not be top-of-the-mind familiar to everyone, Surfrider is doing great work in South Jersey. The money raised through the sales of Twin Fin will help Surfrider Foundation South Jersey plant Ocean Friendly Gardens and install rain barrels to capture and filter polluted stormwater runoff before it reaches the ocean, reduce and prevent plastic pollution through cleanups and educational events, prevent used fishing line from polluting local waterways by installing monofilament recycling containers, provide educational materials to South Jersey restaurants who are Ocean Friendly Restaurant certified, ensure that their volunteers are trained to keep fighting for the ocean, and more.
When the Iron Hill team began to hatch their plan for a brew to support Surfrider South Jersey, it became obvious that they should involve a brewery with a strong presence at the shore.
“Involving Cape May was for a few reasons,” Rob says. “We wanted to make this fun and have them help us further drive the message. As a brewer and a fan of their products, I knew that the Iron Hill team would be able to better reach a community we would otherwise struggle with and create a fun, innovative product that you don’t really see on the shelf anywhere.”
When we approached Surfrider South Jersey about the plan, they were “stoked!” according to Beth Kwart, Chair of the chapter.
“A lot of what we do can be serious – speaking at city council meetings, educating kids in assemblies, attending rallies and marches,” she said. “This collaboration is a great opportunity to raise awareness using something fun, and while we haven’t had the beer yet, we assume it’s very tasty.”
This collaboration comes at a particularly advantageous time for Surfrider South Jersey, as there are a number of things currently threatening the health of the ocean.
“From seismic testing and offshore drilling to a steady increase in plastic pollution, our ocean needs protecting so future generations can enjoy the water as we do,” Beth says. “That is our mission: to protect and enjoy our local oceans, waves, and beaches. We need more people to get involved! We believe this beer will help us raise awareness and maybe even make someone take further action.”
Both teams had a great time developing Twin Fin.
“This project started off with a blank page,” Rob says. “We didn’t really know which direction we wanted to take this at first.”
They met up in the conference room at HQ, ready to throw everything on the table.
“We both knew how important this was, and, by creating a unique product, it would drive even more hype for the cause,” Rob says. “So we let the surfers on both teams drive the ideas on the recipe. ‘What do you love to drink on a beach?’ ‘A session IPA?’ ‘New England IPAs are wildly popular right now.’ ‘I love a good Berliner Weisse when I’m out in the sun.’ It all snowballed from there.”
Eventually, the two teams designed the recipe to be a crushable, easy-drinking IPA with the tropical fruit character of the New England varieties and a touch of refreshing tartness that will help emphasize the pineapple notes from the Denali and Idaho 7 hops.
As a kettle-soured New England IPA, Twin Fin is our chance to combine two very popular styles.
“They’re all the rage right now,” Will says, “but there are a million of them out there. Why not combine them? I haven’t seen many sour NEIPAs out there. I think this is something the local beer fans will enjoy and find special.”
Ultimately, Surfrider South Jersey is “very grateful” to both teams for brewing Twin Fin to support the chapter.
“This is a great example of how beer can be fun and positively impact the community,” Rob says.
If you’d like to donate your time and energy (or money!) to Surfrider South Jersey, you can contact [email protected] or see their website at southjersey.surfrider.org for more information on their current programs and campaigns with opportunities to get involved.
“We are always open to new volunteers,” Beth says, “and we’re willing to work with you if there is something you want to take on in your town that fits with our mission.”
Twin Fin will release at Iron Hill’s Voorhees location on Thursday, April 11th, and look for a canned release from our Tasting Room on Saturday, April 20th — in conjunction with our Earth Day Beach Cleanup (more details to come!). Don’t miss it!