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New Beer Supports A Butterfly That Loves Hops As Much As You

Photo courtesy of Rob Schorr

The hops blue butterfly is unique to Colorado. Not much is known about the insect except for one interesting fact: it lives off hops.

Any craft beer fan in Colorado can relate. So can Fruit flies. And now, beer-fueled funding for research into the butterfly is in the works.

Rob Schorr, a zoologist with Colorado Natural Heritage Program says he first discovered the butterfly in Colorado Springs on the Air Force Academy's property.

“The butterfly, I wish I could tell you a lot about. But the more I tried to investigate and find out about this butterfly, there isn’t a heck of a lot known about when adults can be found,” said Schorr. “What triggers them to immerge? Is it temperatures? Is it rain fall? Is it the abundance of hops? So that’s kind of the basis of how this thing got going, we knew there was an abundance of questions marks, and we didn’t know how best to answer them.”

Credit Courtesy of Odell Brewing
Celastrina Saison

Enter Odell Brewing Company. Odell's newest brew, the Celastrina Saison, named after the hops blue butterfly's scientific name, Celastrina humulus, will be released Saturday, May 18.

For every bottle sold $1 will go to the Colorado Natural Heritage Program for research and conservation efforts. 

The Colorado Natural Heritage Program collects and analyzes data on rare species and habitats in Colorado. It's part of Colorado State University's Warner College of Natural Resource.

“I kind of ran with that and gave Odell a call last fall. I pitched the idea of coming in and asking their philanthropic group if they would be interested in entertaining me talking about the butterfly for a while,” said Schorr. “That led into discussions about how to collaborate and develop something that would be mutually beneficial. Something they would be interested in highlighting as part of the scenery and uniqueness of Colorado and us because we really want to find out more about the butterfly.”

Schorr expects Odell to sell at least 5,000 bottles of Saison raising $5,000 for the program.

The Saison features a label showcasing the hops blue butterfly.

Odell describes the Celastrina Saison as a crisp French style Saison with hints of spice derived only from the hops used. Subtle phenols are complimented by the earthy hops and a dry finish.

Just something to consider while you sip and help fund research.

My journalism career started in college when I worked as a reporter and Weekend Edition host for WEKU-FM, an NPR member station in Richmond, KY. I graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a B.A. in broadcast journalism.
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