Intoxicating: Shedd Aquarium Brews Beer as Penguin Hops

The local micro-brew beer movement may have finally realized its jumped-the-shark moment. The Shedd Aquarium, with its vast amount of water and some home-grown hops, has added one plus one and come up with a beer. The history of human civilization in a fish tank.

About 5 years ago, many new plant varieties were added to the Shedd Aquarium’s landscaping plan, including hops. Hops are a climbing perennial plant that were planted to grow up and beautify the Shedd’s garden walls. Coincidentally, hops also have a crucial role in the beer brewing process. It was only a matter of time before the Shedd realized it had to quench a mighty thirst with more than its water.

A Shedd employee and passionate craft beer brewer suggested a Shedd-style beer. Local brewer Revolution Brewing Company was encouraged to partner up with Shedd and 8 pounds of dry hops were harvested for the effort. The collaborative result is Penguin Hops, an ale that will be available for purchase in limited supply starting on November 28 at Revolution’s Brew pub, located at 2323 N. Milwaukee in Logan Square, and at their Tap Room located at 3340 N. Kedzie. For each pint sold Revolution will donate $1 to the Shedd.

Growing and harvesting the hops are small but noteworthy aspects of the Shedd’s focus on conservation and sustainability. Not to be outdone, it should be noted that beer has contributed significantly to the sustainability of the human condition.

Photo credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez