Brews for beasts: Terrestrial Brewing & Cleveland Zoological Society debut conservation-themed beers

Beer and wildlife conservation might seem like an unlikely duo, but the new partnership between Cleveland’s Terrestrial Brewing Company and the Cleveland Zoological Society (CZS) is proving otherwise.

Launched at a well-attended kickoff party at Terrestrial Brewing on Tuesday, Feb. 26, the partnership will feature small-batch Conservation Series beers crafted by brew master and Terrestrial co-founder Ralph Sgro. Sgro will create at least four custom craft brews, possibly more, at events like World Gorilla Day, World Giraffe Day, and Earth Day. The kickoff party’s signature beer was Probiotic Warrior, a honey-laden kettle sour.

Terrestrial Co-Founder Ryan Bennet, Cleveland Zoological Society Interim Executive Director Sarah Crupi, Terrestrial Co-Founder and brewmaster Ralph SgroThe guys at Terrestrial and the staff of the Zoo Society share one very important passion—to conserve our natural world, protect iconic species, and raise awareness of what everyone in Cleveland can do to help,” says Sarah Crupi, CZS’ interim executive director.

Terrestrial’s team (and brews) will be on hand at CZS events like the Tails & Cocktails speaker series, where Zoo representatives and other Northeast Ohio wildlife enthusiasts give talks on science education and conservation, and at the brewery itself, throughout 2019.

Terrestrial beers will also be on tap at special zoo events, like ZippityZooDoo on Friday, June 7, Twilight at the Zoo on Sunday, Aug. 4, and Date Night at the ZooVies on Friday, Sept. 6. Networking opportunities with members of The Herd, CZS’ young professionals group, will also complement and bolster the ongoing partnership.

CZS has served as the nonprofit partner to Cleveland Metroparks Zoo since 1957, donating $500,000 per year to wildlife conservation efforts through the Zoo’s Future for Wildlife programs. Crupi says that although CZS has been supporting the zoo for over 60 years, “this partnership is like nothing we've ever done.”

CZS’ involvement with Terrestrial over the course of 2019’s busy events calendar will be “a little bit of raising money, a lot of raising awareness of the work being done at the Zoo, and a great opportunity to network with other conservationists and support a great local small business and great beer,” says Crupi.

Probiotic Warrior, the first Conservation Beer Series brew from which a portion of sales will be donated to the Cleveland Zoological SocietyThe team at Terrestrial Brewing Company has showcased its commitment to environmentalist efforts before. Last year, the brewery partnered with the Greater Cleveland Aquarium through the aquarium’s Splash Fund to fund protection efforts for the endangered spotted turtle.

Guests at last week’s kickoff party enjoyed free beer samples and zoo tickets were raffled off. Attendees at the upcoming 2019 events should expect similar fun perks (and of course, great beer).

Next up, on Wednesday, March 20, Terrestrial will serve the perfect pairing for CZS’ inaugural Tails & Cocktails conversation about fermented foods, probiotics, and research on the gut microbiome in animal diets.