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Donating hops and drinking beer could help the La Crosse Warming Shelter



Tami Plourde, Pearl Street Brewery owner

Pearl Street Brewery in La Crosse is looking to trade a pound of hops for a pound of beer to help make their annual Harvest Ale.

Tami Plourde, owner, said they work with community partners to sell the beer and donate the proceeds to a passion project. This year, they hoped to raise $1,500 to help provide meals for the La Crosse Warming Center.

“They need to have 180 meals to serve 40 people a night, so we are trying to get area bars and restaurants to partner with us, sell the beer, and hopefully donate a minimum of 150 per keg,” Plourde said.

The Brewery is currently collecting hops from amateur growers. They hope to start making the ale in mid-October and have it for sale by November. Plourde said in the past several years, they have seen a boom in growth in hobby hop growers who make use of extra room in their backyard or extra land, but they often have nothing to do with the crop come harvest.

“This beer just incorporates everybody’s hops, so you never know what you might get,” Plourde said. “We might get a pale ale. We might get an Amber. We might get an IPA.”

Pearl Street Brewery has made the Harvest Ale for nearly 10 years. Their goal is to have enough for a seven-barrel batch, which is typically 14 kegs.

In addition to the free pint of beer of their choice, people who donate hops will also receive a pint of the Harvest Ale.

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.

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