August 3, 2017 5:49 pm
Updated: August 4, 2017 9:01 am

‘Conservation in a can’: Local brewers pair beer with shark research

WATCH: A local brewing company has partnered with a group of ocean researchers from Dalhousie on a new shark-themed IPA. Jennifer Grudic has more.


How’s this for taking a bite out of summer?

Cape Breton’s Big Spruce Brewing launched a new shark-inspired beer on Thursday in partnership with Dalhousie-based Ocean Tracking Network (OTN).

“We’re known as Canada’s ocean playground,” said Jeremy White, owner Big Spruce Brewing.

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“Looking toward efforts to help endangered species and protect habitats in the ocean should be really important to all Nova Scotians. So, that’s why we wanted to do it.”

READ MORE: Endangered whales are dying in Canadian waters. Here’s what you should know

The beer, called Tag! You’re It!, is being marketed as “the IPA with a bite.” In addition to quenching your thirst, the brewers promise to donate 50 cents from every can towards ocean research, conservation or public awareness.

“We thought you know what? We have to find a better way to get shark education outreach to the public. What better way than to team up with Big Spruce?” said Brendal Townsend, senior project manager with OTN.

Townsend said many people are not aware of just how many species of shark inhabit Nova Scotia waters. They’re currently in the process of researching the blue shark, which Townsend says is at serious risk due to the popular shark fin trade.

READ MORE: Ottawa will do what is needed to protect ‘majestic’ right whales, minister says

“Many shark populations, the big sharks, 90 per cent of their populations have dwindled to near extinction. Blue sharks are going to be on that list soon if we don’t do something.” said Townsend.

“We’re trying to track these young females – they like this area off Eastern Passage for some reason.”

A total of 20,000 cans are being produced. White said it could be just the beginning of a partnership bound by conservation.

“We’re going to work with them and see if we can’t come up with another marine animal that we can put on the next can and do another fun beer with them as well,” said White.

Tag! You’re it! will be available at Stillwell Beer Garden and Bar, RockHead Wine & Beer Market, Bishop’s Cellar,  Cristall Wine and Harvest Wines & Spirits.

A second batch is scheduled to be released in October.


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