UMN Partnership Uses Beer, Nuts to Preserve Rainforest
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A St. Paul brewing company that uses a Central American nut in its beer production is partnering with conservationists to raise awareness about rainforest conservation efforts.
Dave Wilsey, director of University of Minnesota's Master of Development Practice program, partnered with Urban Growler Brewing Co. last year to use the Ramon nut to make beer.
The partnership created two beers which were made available last month. One has already sold out, but a stout with "notes of chocolate, coffee and nuts," is still available on tap.
The university's Institute on the Environment has given the partnership a mini-grant to help spread awareness of their conservation efforts.
The protein-rich nut is native to Central America, South America and the Caribbean. It represents the Maya Forest, a region facing deforestation to make way for cattle grazing.
Wilsey has researched the nut for nearly 20 years. He said he hopes to have a major company use the nut in a food product, which would create marketing opportunities that could increase the value of the rainforest and protect its resources.