Save the wee turtles at Canteen! And the less than wee! And the friggin’ huge!

The reddish hue is from the umbrella on the patio, but otherwise you can see how awesome this logo is for the beer and the merchandise for Saturday’s Drink Beer. Save Turtles.

It is not often that you get to write a story about an event at a brewery and get to utilize a little Simpsons and Saturday Night Live (90s era) in the headline, but here we are in advance of “Drink Beer. Save Turtles.” at Canteen Brewhouse this Saturday from noon to 4 p.m.

This special event was originally scheduled for 2020, but was pushed back for obvious reasons. Once a spot on the calendar opened up again, it was go time for the Canteen staff.

“We were approached by Josh Butler from the New Mexico BioPark Society,” general manager Jamie Schwebach said. “I don’t even know how we got connected, but we’re super happy that we did. And so, it’s an event and a beer (release) event with the Turtle Survival Alliance, so it’s a national thing. It’s Drink Beer. Save Turtles. All of it goes to survival, and to help prevent the extinction of turtles.”

The event will coincide with the release of Low ‘n’ Slow Pale Ale in cans and on draft.

“What’s cool about this, you usually do an event and it’s $1 (donated) from beers, but we started talking about let’s can it, let’s get a cool logo, let’s have some fun with it,” Schwebach said. “We’re doing $2 from any of our six-pack sales, $1 from any pint sold for this pale ale, will all be going to the Turtle Survival Alliance and the New Mexico BioPark Society, which is pretty awesome.”

Head brewer Zach Guilmette crafted a recipe that anyone, from beer geeks to non-beer drinkers, could enjoy.

“We were going back and forth, should we do a lager or an ale,” Guilmette said. “Getting an ale out a little quicker was easier on tank space, as much as creating something that would have a little more flavor, robustness. The lagers are so clean and approachable, but I was looking for a pale ale where you could get a lot of flavor. It was a combination of hops (Sabro, Centennial, Citra) that we don’t use very often. Sabro is something that we have, and I love to play with it, but I’ve only used it once before. It’s just a simple blend of Two Row and wheat, with a touch of caramel malts, and then the three hops were meant to try to create a nice, light citrus character, (with) coconut from the Sabro, grapefruit from the Centennial. Just something nice and approachable.”

Besides the beer, there will be live music from Baracutanga from 1 to 4 p.m., and much more.

“They’re going to be bringing TSA merchandise, which is all Drink Beer. Save Turtles,” Schwebach said. “We’ve got shirts, and we’ve got koozies, and we’re going to do $12 for a pint glass with a fill, or $6 for them (empty), and we’ve got stickers. A part of all of those proceeds are going to go (to TSA and the BioPark) as well.”

The goal is to educate as well as entertain.

“It’s all about awareness, and how we can all help reduce the extinction (rate) of turtles,” Schwebach said. “It’s everything from keeping your dog on a leash when you’re walking in the Bosque, or clean up trash, to if you’re going to get a pet turtle, you’re going to a rescue. Everything that can help turtles.”

There will be some guests of honor, as well.

“There are going to be live turtles here,” Schwebach said. “They’re going to bring some turtles out on Saturday. There’s going to be some turtle artwork available. I’m pretty excited. I know they were doing it on Monday or Tuesday. They put some turtles in animal-safe paint and they walk across (the canvas). I’m excited to buy some turtle art.

“And then, they are going to be doing a drawing as well, for all kinds of (prizes). Some of it will be for beer (events), some of it will be at the BioPark, and even a behind-the-scenes tour will be available. It’s all to raise money for the BioPark.”

As someone who grew up with turtles in the backyard (and 30-plus years later, they still live there), I am in full support of this event. Throw in a tasty new beer, which Jamie and Zach allowed me to sample on Wednesday (thanks, you two!), and I will definitely be in attendance before heading off to the New Mexico United tailgate.

Keep supporting local! And keep supporting the wee turtles!

— Stoutmeister

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