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Fixed Gear butterfly brew aids conservation efforts

The endangered mottled duskywing butterfly was reintroduced to Pinery Provincial Park last summer
Paul Turcotte of Fixed Gear Brewing Co. holds a can of Duskywing Witbier.

A taste of yeast from an endangered butterfly can be found in Fixed Gear’s Duskywing Wietbier.

Using a sample of the butterflies' host plant, Fixed Gear brewmasters used the yeast culture in their brewing process to help create the beer.

“We were really impressed with the activity of the yeast, and a little surprised that the incorporation of wild yeasts worked out so well. The result is a fruit-forward, hazy, and malty beer. It has noticeable pear and herbal notes, a pleasant tanginess, a dry and floral finish, and is a fantastic summer beer,” said Mike Oosterveld, president of Fixed Gear Brewing Co. in a press release.

In an effort to conserve an endangered Ontario butterfly, the mottled duskywing, the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory reared the butterflies with help from the Ontario Butterfly Species at Risk Recovery Team.

Last summer the mottled duskywing was successfully reintroduced to Pinery Provincial Park. The butterfly had been absent from the area for 30 years. Reintroducing the butterfly is one step to continue to restore habitats for the mottled duskywing throughout the province.

“I have been keen to find a brewer that would be willing to incorporate wild yeasts collected from our endangered butterflies and their host plant,” said Adrienne Brewster, executive director of the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory in the release.

“Mike Oosterveld from Fixed Gear Brewing is a friend of the Conservatory and showed immediate interest in partnering - we both loved the idea of a creative collaboration that is truly unique while also increasing awareness about the plight of the endangered mottled duskywing butterfly in Ontario,” said Brewster.

The beer will be sold for a limited time and is on tap at the Alma Street Fixed Gear location. A portion of the proceeds from the beer sales will go to the Ontario Butterfly Species at Risk Recovery Team. Cans will be available some time this week.


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