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Patagonia Puts Down Roots in the Beer World

Patagonia and Hopworks Urban Brewery teamed up to create Long Root Ale, a beer made with Kernza.

Patagonia is a well known maker of outdoor clothing and accessories catering to climbers, skiers, trail runners, surfers and fishermen. The company’s commitment to the environment is a key part of its story as Patagonia strives to use responsibly-sourced materials, fair labor and practices like garment repair to reduce its impact on the earth.

Patagonia’s environmental stewardship extends to its food focused sub-brand Patagonia Provisions. A high profile release from Patagonia Provisions for 2016 is Long Root Ale, a beer made with Kernza. Looking to the brewing basics of water, hops, grains and yeast, Kernza is combined with organic two row barley to fill the all important grain role, creating the malt backbone of the beer.

The Kernza plant has a long root system (hence the beer’s name) that allows for perennial growth without tilling. No tilling means preserving beneficial topsoil. When compared to other grains, Kernza retains more nutrients, adds more carbon and requires less water.

long root can
Image used with permission by copyright holder

While being great for the environment is a wonderful side effect, it wouldn’t matter much if the beer wasn’t good. Hopworks Urban Brewery provides the industry know-how behind Long Root Ale and its guidance has brewed up a crisp, refreshing beer with a unique malt flavor that holds up well to session drinking. A bright citrusy series of hops including Chinook, Mosaic and Crystal and Long Root Ale finishes the beer with a grapefruit tinge. The retail availability of sixteen ounce cans is a perfect camping or backpacking companion, fitting Long Root Ale precisely into Patagonia’s sweet spot of stylish adventuring.

Currently Long Root Ale is available throughout Oregon, Washington and California at Whole Foods stores and select bars, including the Hopworks tasting rooms in Portland.

Photo credit: Amy Kumler

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Lee Heidel
Lee Heidel is the managing editor of Brew/Drink/Run, a website and podcast that promotes brewing your own beer, consuming the…
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