In 1970 Earth Day was established as a way to bring attention and support to environmental sustainability. It followed the release of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring,” which shed light on the negative effects pesticides can bestow upon the environment, and coincided with a shift in culture toward social awareness and responsibility. Today, the urgency is ever clear. Not only are celebrations taking place far and wide to celebrate Earth Day, local and regional brews are doing their part to decrease their carbon footprint and adding to the social awareness shift.
EARTH DAY FESTIVAL
Sat., April 21, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Hugh MacRae Park, 314 Pine Grove Dr.
Annually, folks flock to Hugh MacRae to celebrate our planet and this year will be no different, as they welcome local shamanic practitioner Roger Lockshier, who will lead a guided meditation for Earth healing and global peace at 1:45 p.m. Plus, there will be educators from NC Division of Marine Fisheries and NC Forest Service, along with a kids area and live music all day from Coastal Collective, Stray Local, Rapping Red Oak, and Striking Copper.
Even more importantly will be vendors offering local suds and grub. Waterline Brewing Company, Bill’s Front Porch Pub and Brewery, Panacea Brewing Co., and Smart Smoothies, as well as Noni Bacca Winery will offer up sips.
“We donate 100 percent of our spent grains to a local farmer for feeding his pigs, cows and horses, keeping just a bit for making natural dog treats, and are currently looking into providing local sustainability farmers with the nutrition-rich trub (leftover sediment resulting from brew process) for compost enrichment,” Waterline’s Mark Mueller says of the brewery.
Delicious bites will come from local food trucks like Vittles, Port City Puffs & Stuff, and The Little Chef. Culligan will provide clean, safe drinking water. Most importantly: 2018’s event will be a zero-waste happening. New Hanover County Environmental Management will collect food scraps from the event, and they encourage the public to bring their own from home to feed their composter.
An Evening with
Mother Earth Brewing
Sat., April 21, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Fermental, 7250 Market Street
Heralded as the first production brewery in the country to achieve Gold LEED Certification for environmental sustainability, Mother Earth Brewing began in 2008 in Kinston, NC. Ten years later, their commitment to reducing their impact on our planet includes the use of solar panels, recycled blue-jean insulation, and a 2,500-gallon cistern to provide gray water for their gardens and bathrooms.
“The brewery’s commitment to the environment is our top priority,” Elton Lamm, the eastern NC sales representative for Mother Earth, asserts. “If you are going to name your brewery ‘Mother Earth,’ then you better be ready to step up to the plate.”
Fermental, a bottle shop located in Ogden, which won Best Bottle Shop on encore’s readers poll for 2018, has partnered with Mother Earth over the last five years to celebrate Earth Day. April marks North Carolina Beer Month as well, so it’s a fitting way to celebrate regional brews.
“The brewery continues . . . to operate under environmentally friendly standards,” Fermental owner Steve Gibbs shares. “Plus it’s local, keeping it fresh and nearby.”
In 2017, Mother Earth released their light sour Berliner Weisse, and the Earth Day cask featured local blackberries, blueberries and raspberries. “It was delicious,” Gibbs tells. “This year they added even more berries and we’re looking forward to the finished product.”
“A Berliner Weisse is also a good beer to feature fruit as an added ingredient, as this is traditionally how the beer is introduced in Germany where the style originated,” Lamm shares.
He worked with Gibbs and the brewery to determine the limited release. “We always put a lot of thought and discussion into any beer we are going to bring into a market, whether it’s a new brand or a simple one-off release. It is very gratifying to see the ‘wow factor’ on people’s faces when they try a new and unique offering from your brewery.”
Along with the cask, guests can expect a variety of styles from Mother Earth, including Park Day Pilsner, Dark Cloud Dunkel, Bourbon Barrel Aged Chocolate Ale, Barrel Aged Berliner Weisse, Fig & Raisin Dubbel, Silent Night Imperial Stout, and more.
The event will include live gypsy jazz from Swing Shifters and eats from Port City Puffs & Stuff Food Truck. Of course, the primary draw is the beer. However, they will offer literature for guests, too.
“We collect various eco-information packets and brochures from our local county offices and through a partnership with our local Earth Day Council,” Gibbs says.
Sun., April 22, 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Flytrap Brewing • 319 Walnut St.
“The idea of hosting a springtime festival to celebrate the annual blooming of local Venus flytraps has been something we were working toward from the beginning,” founder and head brewer Mike Barlas shares of his vision for 4th Street’s Flytrap Brewing.
Flytrap was named for the carnivorous plant, which only exists within a 60-mile radius of Wilmington. It remains today, thanks to the work from advocates such as Stanley Rehder and the North Carolina Land Trust. In its second year, Bloom Boom will be a day-long celebration in support of The Nature Conservancy.
“Flytrap was born out of two things: a love for fine beer and the desire to create a business that is connected to the community which it serves,” Barlas insists. “Helping to support local artists, musicians, and the conservation of local natural beauty and resources just feels like the right thing to do.”
Barlas says he chose to benefit The Nature Conservancy through Bloom Boom because of its mission to conserve lands and waters on which all life depends. They want to promote the efforts that are being made to preserve local Venus flytrap habitats. “[Also we want to highlight] conservation efforts for all of the incredible plants and animals that live with us on this earth,” Barlas continues. “Clean water, land and air are vital for us all.”
Bloom Boom will feature live music from Into the Fog and The Ethan Hanson Band, as well as food from Pepe’s Tacos food truck. The Mindful Market will be onsite from Artisan Locale, which culls local artists and makers.
“For Earth Day all of our vendors are Earth-conscious and practice in sustainable solutions, whether they are using recycled goods or biodegradable packaging, they are all doing their part to make this planet we call home a better place to live,” Artisan Locale owner Ashley Arnold says.
Likewise, shopping small can lower the carbon footprint. It takes out the shipping process, which cuts down emissions and waste.
Flytrap will release a brand new blood orange gose, which Barlas says is as tart as it is refreshing. Plus, it’s made with local sea salt from Sea Love. “It’s our take on a classic German style with the addition of blood orange for a citrus compliment to this brew’s refreshing nature,” Barlas adds.
Additional beer releases will include returning favorites Kolsch and White IPA. And what better way to enjoy them than being reminded of ways to include sustainable practices in everyday living?
“There are ways to grow and progress while minimizing our impact on our environment,” Barlas finishes. “Wilmington and the surrounding area is full of natural beauty: the ocean, river, and an abundance of plants and wildlife. These things are a large part of why this is such a special place. As a new father, I can think of nothing more special to pass along to future generations than clean air and water with healthy ecosystems.”