Solarama Crush launch event: a hit for the bees and beer

Guests at the release party enjoying a variety of beverages — hazy IPA, cream soda, and kombucha
— all sweetened with honey from flowering solar farms.

Beer, bees, and honey from flowering solar farms—everybody loves it! Bringing together a few of the world’s greatest things, Fresh Energy paired up with the craft beer brewers at 56 Brewing to unveil the 2019 version of the deliciously crisp Solarama Crush IPA, brewed with honey from pollinator-friendly solar arrays. Nearly 200 supporters came out to celebrate the launch of Solarama Crush, including the mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey!

So how does it all work? For Solarama Crush, Bare Honey and Old Sol Apiaries partnered with solar developers and landowners to place and tend to beehives at pollinator-friendly solar sites. Honey bees naturally forage for pollen and nectar within three miles of the hive. Honey produced on or adjacent to pollinator-friendly solar arrays is then extracted and bottled separately from other honey, where it’s used to add a subtle sweetness to the flavor profiles of specialty craft beers.

What’s more, Solarama Crush also uses Kernza, a deeply rooted perennial grain that sequesters carbon. Pioneered by the Land Institute and milled by Healthy Food Ingredients, 56 Brewing deployed Kernza hulls in the brewing process of Solarama Crush to build its delicious flavor profile.

During the event, our director of the Center for Pollinators in Energy, Rob Davis, acknowledged owners and brewers Kale Johnson and Nick Chute who received a special award from Connexus Energy, highlighting this unique beer crafted and powered with 100 percent renewable energy!

Couldn’t make it? It’s not too late to raise one for the bees and support Fresh Energy! Your contribution will power Fresh Energy’s work to advance clean energy policies in Minnesota, like the statewide standard for pollinator-friendly habitat on solar sites, which lead to the creation of Solarama Crush. 

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