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Environment

This Beer Helps Fight Climate Change. We’ll Drink to That.

Patagonia is known for a lot of things — eco-friendly apparel, the latest in camping and rock climbing gear, and sturdy, reliable equipment. And over the last few years, it’s quietly expanded its repertoire to include beer.

And not just any beer. Patagonia has partnered with HopWorks Urban Brewery out of Portland, Oregon, to create Long Root Ale. It comes in a slim blue can and is made from a grain that helps combat climate change.

“It’s a Northwest-Style Pale Ale made with organic ingredients and Kernza perennial grain. Looking for solutions to repair the food systems that sustain us, Long Root Ale represents another step towards transforming agricultural practices and supporting sustainable farming,” announced HopWorks.

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Kernza — not to be confused with Kerns, the fruity guava drink from your childhood — is a sustainable form of grain. Kernza was developed in 1983 by Land Institute, a nonprofit determined to get more perennials (plants that reproduce their seeds for more than two years) into large-scale agriculture. The alternative in agriculture to perennials are annual crops, which need to be planted each year. These take more resources like fertilizer, and carbon-emitting farm machinery.

Kernza, specifically, is beneficial because the plants bury themselves down into the soil more than twice as deep as an annual wheat plant which helps “build soil health, and retain clean water” according to Land Institute. The roots also trap in more carbon that the average grain plant and prevent soil erosion.

Read More: How to Drink Beer Responsibly (for the Planet)

The beer can be found in Patagonia’s “provision” section, which includes all other types of products to meet your extravagant wilderness needs from sockeye salmon gift boxes to food canisters.

Esquire notes that the beer “has a mild, grassy bite that's refreshing after a day of trekking the wilderness (or sitting in front of a laptop).”

It’s a refreshing shift from some of the environmental damage the adult beverage industry has been responsible for in the past, with rum and tequila being the worst offenders. The beer industry’s main climate change challenges cloud around transportation and agricultural input. Beer also requires a lot of water, which has caused some California brewing companies to shift locations, or find methods that save water.

Read More: Forget About Budweiser's "America," Drink Global Beer

With Patagonia joining, and more brew companies focusing on eco-friendly measures, America’s favorite beverage could be better for the planet than ever.