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Drink beer, help stranded puffins in Witless Bay

Mill Street Brewpub in St. John’s partnered with CPAWS-NL to create a dry hopped lager called Puffin Plunge, which will support the Puffin and Petrel Patrol in their seabird rescue efforts.
Mill Street Brewpub in St. John’s partnered with CPAWS-NL to create a dry hopped lager called Puffin Plunge, which will support the Puffin and Petrel Patrol in their seabird rescue efforts. - Contributed

On Wednesday, the Puffin and Petrel Patrol kicked off their 14th season rescuing stranded juvenile puffins, or “pufflings,” and this year they’ll get a little boost from an unlikely source – beer.

Pufflings sometimes get lost this time of year when they’re making their way out to sea because they confuse artificial lights along the coast with the moon and stars, which the birds use as a navigational aid.

The patrol, organized by Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society – Newfoundland and Labrador Chapter (CPAWS-NL), rescues the birds and sets them on the right course.

It’s a cause that Mill Street Brewpub sales manager Jordan White said he “can really get behind.”

“Newfoundland is really well known for puffins, but not many people know about the dangers that they face, and the acts that group does to sustain the population,” White said.

The brewpub approached CPAWS-NL about doing some kind of fundraiser, and after some discussion, Puffin Plunge – a dry hopped lager – was created.

The beer is set to go on tap by Aug. 22, and $1 from every pint sold that day will be donated to CPAWS-NL.

White described the lager as “quite smooth and very easy-drinking” with “lots of really nice tropical flavours and smells.”

It’s currently cold aging for about another two weeks “to let those flavours and characteristics really pop.”

Once the aging process is complete, it will go on tap.

Mill Street made two batches of it that can be purchased at the brewpub in the restaurant, in their retail section, and also at other restaurants that serve their product and want to participate (such as Chinched Bistro, Blue on Water and several other restaurants).

The exact fundraiser date may change depending on the cold aging process, so it will be announced on Mill Street Brewpub’s social media channels closer to the day.

CPAWS-NL conservation co-ordinator Kathy Unger said they’ve also created special coasters that will be given to restaurant guests when they order a pint of Puffin Plunge.

The coasters have information about the puffin patrol and how people can help and donate.

“We’re really excited,” she said. “The beer sounds like it’s going to be delicious.”

White said the brewpub’s goal is to sell at least 500 pints the day it goes on tap, raising at least $500 for the patrol.

“I’m hoping that using our social media and our reach we’ll be able to get a ton of bodies down and enjoying the beer and raise a ton of money for those guys.”

juanita.mercer@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @juanitamercer_

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