Biologist Linda Gloshinski (left) Ramstein Beer (right) / Photos by Kate Munning
In September 2020, Cathy Wise wanted to recruit volunteers to build homes for burrowing owls, a species threatened by urban development in Phoenix, Arizona. And so, the community science manager for Southwest Audubon Society worked with Preston Thoeny, head brewer at Wren House Brewing Company, to produce a beer named after a local burrowing owl known as U-9.
“Wren House was closed, but people could order online and pick up the beer,” says Wise. “We thought, let’s put a bitly [shortened URL] on the can, and tell the story of U-9 to have people sign up for when we start going again.”
Slightly bigger than a tallboy, burrowing owls live in underground burrows that are increasingly threatened as cities expand. The Audubon Society’s project rehomes the owls to artificial burrows at safe sites.