Drink Local Florida Blog

New Lager and Session IPA from Darwin Brewing Co. Raise Money for Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, Carried by Winn Dixie Across the Entire Sunshine State

Reef Revival Session IPA and Leatherback Lager pictured in front of shark tank at Mote Marine Lab in SarasotaWhat if you could help protect Florida's ocean waters, coral, turtles and other marine life just by drinking Florida craft beer? Would you be on board? Now's your chance. Here's information on how you can help, the causes you'll be supporting and how these beers taste.  

We posted a live video on Instagram while visiting Darwin Brewing Co. in Bradenton on a beautiful Saturday in February. Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium was on-site promoting two beers from Darwin: the Reef Revival Session IPA and Leatherback Lager. These beers are available on draught and six-pack cans at Darwin's brewery and taproom while Winn Dixie is carrying these six-packs statewide. Each six-pack sold generates a 50 cent donation to Mote Marine Lab, with 25 cents each coming from Darwin Brewing Co. and Winn Dixie.

Mote Marine Lab's Mascot Gilly the Shark holding a six-pack of Leatherback Lager brewed by Darwin Brewing Co.The event at Darwin Brewing Co. was a great time (sorry if you missed it). Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium gave out Tervis cups, bottle openers, stickers and coupons to visit their aquarium near Lido Beach. Gilly the shark, Mote Marine Lab's mascot, was also there at the dog- and kid-friendly brewery. The place was packed as many baseball fans enjoyed some craft brews before heading over to the first spring training baseball game of the year at LECOM Park across the street.

Printed on both beer cans is the slogan "Beer Worth Savoring. Oceans Worth Saving."  We couldn't agree more. Here is a little more information on each of these craft brews:

Reef Revival Session IPA from Darwin Brewing pictured in front of Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium's front entrance sign and fountain The Reef Revival Session IPA is made with Cascade hops to provide some floral and grapefruit/citrus notes. Session IPAs refer to IPAs with a lower ABV making them “sessionable,” meaning you can drink more than one (but not too many) and not have to worry about taking an Uber. This beer is sessionable both in ABV, at 5 percent, and in terms of bitternes, at 26 IBUs. It’s enough to provide a well-balanced hoppy flavor but maintains a refreshing and light feel overall. It’s a great Florida-lifestyle beer that is perfect for the beach, boat or pool when you crave refreshment more than bitterness but still want some hop flavor.

Leatherback Lager from Darwin Brewing pictured in front of the Gulf of Mexico The Leatherback Lager is crisp, refreshing and full of flavor. It has a heavy malt profile and more hops than your typical lager. It is brewed with noble hops and is listed at 33 IBUs, which is up there for a lager. Noble hops can refer to a handful of specific hop strains, and most home brewers know they can be a little pricier than other varieties. But you get what you pay for and these are high quality. The noble hops shine through in this one. It is refreshing and light enough to enjoy out in the sun while providing enough hops and malt to satisfy the more experienced palette. I hope this is a year-round release because I could drink it all summer, which is 9 months of the year in Florida. Both of these beers from Darwin Brewing Co. are great, but if forced to pick a favorite of the two it would be the lager.

If you haven’t been to Darwin Brewing Co. in a while, it’s time to go back. They recently brought in a new Brewmaster named Blue. We had great conversation with him while at the taproom and really like the new recipes he’s concocted. Darwin is now releasing a new beer every Thursday, showcasing Blue’s personality and innovations in craft beer.

Land-based coral nursery at Mote Marine Lab In case you are not familiar with Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, here is information about just some of what they do to help Florida's waters and marine life. This will help provide context for what the 50 cent per six-pack contribution will help to support. Since these beers from Darwin have themes related to reviving coral reefs and sea turtles, we'll focus on some related endeavors.

The importance of Florida’s coral reef tract cannot be emphasized enough. Coral reefs support a plethora of biodiversity and also help protect shores from storms and erosion. If we lose too much of it, many species of marine life will lose their home which will have devastating ripple effects throughout the entire food chain.

Mote Marine Lab Scientist outplants coral coloniesOver-development, water pollution and stoney coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD) are taking their toll. Here are pictures showing exactly how Mote Marine Labs is helping to reverse these devastating impacts. If you visit Mote Marine Laboratory Aquarium you can see their land-base coral nursery where species of coral are incubated so coral polyps can reproduce and begin new colonies. When these colonies grow large and healthy enough, Mote Marine Lab scientists out-plant sections to help revitalize Florida's coral reef tract

Mote Marine Lab personnel release rehabilitated sea turtle back into the oceanYou will also see the efforts of Mote Marine Lab and their volunteers if you visit Lido or Siesta Key beaches. Leatherback and other sea turtles nest and lay their eggs in the Florida sand. Mote Marine Lab has led extensive efforts to educated the public not to inadvertently harm these nests and safely marks these nests off to alert beach-goers of their location. Mote Marine Lab has made strides in invoking changes to reduce light pollution near the shoreline, which confuses turtle hatchlings who rely on moon light and it's reflection off the ocean to find the water. Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium scientists and biologists also put forth a great deal of effort and resources into rehabilitating marine life, such as with Spock and Scotty, two sea turtles they rehabilitated and released back into the ocean.

Copyright Notice: All Images on this page (except for Gilly the Shark holding a six-pack) are property of Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, used with their permission. 

Posted: February 29, 2020