Patagonia Gets Into The Sustainable Craft Beer Business
Photo via Patagonia / Facebook

Patagonia, the all-purpose climbing gear company turned trendsetter and environmental savior,  has joined the world of beer brewers.

The company released its first foray into the beer world with a beer called Long Root Ale. The clothing company teamed up with Portland, Oregon’s Hopworks Urban Brewery for the project and is banking on a major selling point: agricultural sustainability via a branded perennial grain called Kernza.

Kernza, which has never been used in a beer before, is a new wheat developed and trademarked by an agricultural research center called The Land Institute. It’s supposedly better for the environment because the soil doesn’t need to be tilled after planting (cutting down on carbon emissions), and the roots extend down 10 feet into the ground (hence the name), which allows the plant to grab more of its own resources rather than rely so much on irrigation.

It’s not just the wheat that is good for the environment, though. Hopworks recycles or composts 98.6 percent of its waste and is dedicated to using as much sustainable energy and as little water as possible.

And while the sustainability aspect and Kernza can be a draw to a certain crowd (you know who you are), it’s the branded hops that will draw in the people who love big taste. Long Root Ale uses a mix of organic Chinook, Mosaic and Crystal hops. Who knows? If Kernza and Long Root Ale catch on, perhaps an industry of branded grains that matches the branded hop industry is in the foreseeable future.

The project is part of Patagonia Provisions, the division of the company dedicated to sustainable food and beer. Long Root Ale joins a line of cereal mix, power bars, dried salmon and jerky. It can currently be purchased in Washington, Oregon and California for $10 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans.