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Brewery makes algae beer to spotlight threat to Lake Erie

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    Maumee Bay Brewing Company. is introducing a green "Alegae Blooms" beer at the brewery Thursday aimed at raising awareness about the health of Lake Erie and the area's drinking water.

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    Misty Ditmyer, a bartender at Mutz, pours a glass of algae beer. Maumee Bay Brewing Co. introduced the beer Thursday evening to raise awareness about the health of Lake Erie and the region’s drinking water.

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    The Maumee Bay Brewing Co. logo can be seen on one of the fermenters inside the company's brewery.

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Maumee Bay Brewing Co. introduced a new green beer on Thursday to raise awareness about the health of Lake Erie and the area's drinking water.

Tony Kreamer, of Toledo, was one of the first patrons to get a taste of this unique beer.

maumee-beer-jpg

Maumee Bay Brewing Company. is introducing a green "Alegae Blooms" beer at the brewery Thursday aimed at raising awareness about the health of Lake Erie and the area's drinking water.

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Mr. Kreamer said he frequents Toledo bars on most nights, but came to Mutz Sports Bar Thursday night specifically for the green beer’s premiere.

He said he knows how to judge a good beer. He sipped. Then paused before rendering his verdict.


VIDEO: Maumee Bay Brewing Company’s Alegae Blooms

“It’s got a nice sour complexity,” he said. “It’s really smooth and a little tart.”

It started out as a “goofy project” trying to make a beer in homage to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, said brewer Chris Clarke, but a conversation with a friend from The Ohio Environmental Council turned the project into a environmental one.

"Alegae Blooms," a lynguistic marriage of ale and algae, is a name that the pun-loving Mr. Clarke can appreciate. It's a sour double IPA, aged on green tea matcha powder, and chock-full of "tons and tons of fresh kiwi," Mr. Clarke said.

Mr. Clarke said he aimed for a "sludgy, murky-looking" drink reminiscent of the now-famous bright green slime that fouled the water in August, 2014, when more than 500,000 metro Toledo residents were issued a "do not drink" order for the tap water due to microcystin found in algal blooms on Lake Erie.

"For us it's important because water is essentially our main ingredient for everything we do," Mr. Clarke said. "We can't brew beer, can't wash tanks, can't do anything without clean water."

EDITORIALS: Cheers to a healthier lakeGreen beer clever ploy for algae awareness

Mr. Clarke said it’s another way to get attention to Lake Erie. 

"I think the main goal for us is awareness of our environment and the state that it's moving toward," he said. "If we do take action now we can set ourselves up for a brighter future."

There wasn’t a vacant table inside the bar Thursday evening, and nearly every table was dotted with the green beer. They start selling the 10 oz. glasses of beer at 6 p.m.

Some patrons were there solely to taste this algae beer that resembled sewer water. Others drank the beer to complement the taste of their meals.

“It’s delicious,” Shannon McCann said. “The sweet goes with the salty,” she said as she ate her boneless chicken wings.

Contact Lauren Lindstrom at llindstrom@theblade.com, 419-724-6154, or on Twitter @lelindstrom.

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