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Brew for the Zoo helping Florida's panther population one pint at a time

Posted at 3:52 PM, May 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-16 05:31:40-04

NAPLES, Fla. — Drink beer. Save panthers.

That’s the mantra being adopted by Riptide Brewing Company and the Naples Zoo as they look to help out one of Florida’s more endangered species.

And a special brew is making its way on tap.

"It’s a unique event that kind of brings a different crowd out to talk about conservation to teach people about panthers and what they can do to help Florida panthers out in the wild,” says Courtney Jolly, Director of Marketing and PR at Naples Zoo.

For the sixth year running, the craft brewing specialists have concocted two special ales- Uno and Athena Ale. Named after two beloved panthers. The mission?

To help florida’s panther population.

"It strengthens our relationships with FWC and U.S. Fish and Wildlife, to engage more people, engage the community in knowing how important panthers are and how they’ve lost their numbers," says Jolly. "They’ve dwindled down, they’re endangered and we need to do everything we can to help them.”

And that’s the mission- getting the community involved. Whether that be by dunk tank or by raffle. There's plenty of fun for the whole family.

“We’re huge on conservation, especially with beer," says Matt Berg, General Manager of Naples Riptide Brewing Co. "Beer is so social and inviting and great- it brings everyone together. And the fact that we can partner with the Naples Zoo and bring a broader reach to what we offer. Also what they do with their efforts as far as conservation is huge.”

And you don’t have to travel far inside the brewery to realize just how far that reach is...

“I had to come across the alley anyways so I figured why don’t I just end a beautiful Saturday right here?” said Becca Bryan, who traveled from Fort Lauderdale.

Bryan made the two hour drive after learning about the event. For her, saving panthers hits pretty close to home.

“I don’t care if there’s a hurricane threat in the way on both of our coasts, I will come here and support them all the time because I truly do love the panther conservation program.”

As of this year, there have been a total of 12 panther deaths recorded by the FWC throughout the state. With each pint, proceeds will be going to the conservation of the feline.

"All the money raised will actually go directly to working in the field on panther conservation and everything we can do to save panthers,” Jolly said.

And if you’re interested in learning how to help out panther conservation efforts, you can find more information online right here.