A Helping and Hopping Hand

Second Street Brewery and the Santa Fe Conservation Trust partner for a frothy approach to land preservation

The next time you find yourself enjoying the Dale Ball Trail, the Santa Fe Rail Trail, the pristine view from Arroyo Hondo, or the unfettered, star-studded night skies in and around Santa Fe, perhaps take a moment to reflect on the amount of time, money and hard work (and perhaps a bit of politicking) it takes to keep those treasures safe and sustainable.

Since 1993, the nonprofit Santa Fe Conservation Trust  has been a driving force behind the protection and expansion of our beloved trail systems, wide-open spaces, animal habitats, ranchlands, river corridors and so much more throughout Northern New Mexico.

In tandem with the celebratory tone of the organization's milestone birthday (almost of legal age!), the trust is launching its 20 Years/20 Dollars fundraising campaign. To sweeten the pot of donations, Second Street Brewery president and master brewer Rod Tweet is getting in on the action with a special brew. Twenty-five cents from each pint sold benefits the Santa Fe Conservation Trust, and Tweet hopes to top sales of at least 20,000 canned pints—and an equal number on draft.

Tweet's Boneshaker Bitter first arrived on the Santa Fe beer scene last May during the Outside Bike & Brew Festival, and after a meeting with the trust and New Mexico Brewers Guild "beer ambassador" Chris Goblet, Tweet and the nonprofit struck up a promotional/fundraising concept that taps directly into the sensibilities of beer lovers and outdoors enthusiasts alike.

"The Boneshaker was the name given to one of the earliest bicycles," Tweet tells SFR. "The stiff body and wooden wheel frames made for a bone-shaking ride, to say the least, and that concept seemed to fit in nicely with the inaugural Bike & Brew Festival. I got together with the Santa Fe Conservation Trust to work on the graphic design of the label, and the cans look fantastic." The Boneshaker beer inside the soon-to-be-available pint cans—also flowing from the taps at Second Street Brewery along that well-traveled Rail Trail and its sister location in the Santa Fe Railyard—is no slouch either.

Tweet describes the fundraising beer as "medium caramel color, about 5.7 percent ABV [alcohol by volume], with a nice fruitiness from a British yeast strain, and a complex, unusual hop character from earthy East Kent Goldings, citrusy Cascade, and a dry, pine-y evergreen finish from dry-hopping in the fermentor with Citra hops."

Because the Boneshaker/SFCT promotion is a small-batch run (relatively speaking), Tweet enlisted the help of Albuquerque-based Mother Road Mobile Canning, which travels to the brewery and cans the beers on-site. The company had already been canning Second Street's one-pint cans of Pivotal IPA. The canning equipment, supplied by Wild Goose Engineering in Boulder, Colo., is unloaded, set up conveyor-belt style and hooked directly to the brewery's finishing tanks, which negates the necessity to ship "finished" batches of beer to a large canning facility where bulk orders of pre-printed cans can be prohibitively expensive. At Mother Road's ABQ home base (the company also operates a facility in Springfield, Mo.), a specialized plastic-sleeve contraption wraps the label graphics around the cans, which are then packaged in four-pint bundles with reusable carrying heads clasps.

"It's much easier to roll out special four-can packs of seasonal or promotional beer when the overhead is lower," Tweet says. "From a business and donation standpoint, it made sense to use the mobile service for both economic and logistical reasons. Besides, this way the beer stays colder longer and has a more extended shelf life than it would with a refillable growler—as long as you keep it sealed and out of the heat."

It really is a no-brainer: Buy local beer and help save local land, agricultural treasures, wildlife habitats and night skies. If you're a teetotaler but still walk on the earth and breathe oxygen, the Santa Fe Conservation Trust also accepts donations. 

Get the Goods:
Boneshaker Special Bitter
Second Street Brewery, 1814 Second St., 982-3030
At the Railyard, 1607 Paseo De Peralta, Ste. 10, 989-3278

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