LA CROSSE, Wi. (WLAX)– “I think it’s really fantastic to enjoy a pint knowing that your dollars are going somewhere that really matters,” said Tami Plourd, Pearl Street Brewery owner.
The Pearl Street Brewery in La Crosse has been open since 1999.
Community members would often ask the brewery if they had any use for the hops they grew in their backyard. So for the last decade, a special harvest ale has been made every winter.
“We ask community members to bring in their homegrown hops and we make a beer with it. We never know what we’re going to get, sometimes its an IPA, sometimes its a lager,” Plourd said.
Everyone who brings in a pound of hops is given two pints of beer– one at the time of donation and another when the harvest ale is ready.
This year’s beer is an English Mild Amber Ale and the brewery thinks even those who aren’t typical beer drinkers will enjoy it.
“This English Mild is really mellow. It’s not going to be hoppy. It’s going to be very palatable for most people and so I think this one’s a good one,” Plourd said.
The harvest ale isn’t just made with community hops, but also every sip helps the homeless.
“This year we have partnered with some area bars and restaurants that are putting it on tap and donating a dollar per pint proceeds to the La Crosse warming shelter,” Plourd said.
The La Crosse Warming Center is located downtown and open from November 1 until April 30.
“Every night they house 40 homeless people and feed them a meal, so we’ll use this beer money to make some meals for them and help support the organization,” Plourd said.
For the brewery, the decision to help the center was not difficult.
“These winters haven’t been easy. We’re so blessed to be warm and to have full bellies,” Plourd said. “So, I think it was kind of a no brainer. They rely 100 percent on volunteers and donations.”
The harvest ale will be on tap at Pearl Street Brewery and several other local restaurants and bars including Buzzard Billy’s, Fayze’s, and the Cotter Pin.
The ale will be available until all 11 kegs have run out.